Vol 25, No 5 (2020)
Original research articles
Published online: 2020-09-01

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Impact of COVID-19 on the performance of a radiation oncology department at a major comprehensive cancer centre in Poland during the first ten weeks of the epidemic

J Malicki12, P Martenka3, A Dyzmann-Sroka4, K Paczkowska5, E Leporowska6, W Suchorska17, K Lamperska8, P Pieńkowski9, A Chicheł10, M Mocydlarz-Adamcewicz111, D Urbaniak12, T Bajon13, Z Cybulski14, B Bąk113, A Machtyl15, K Adamska116, J Kaźmierska113, P Milecki115, A Marszałek1718
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2020.08.001
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2020;25(5):820-827.


The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus rapidly altered radiotherapy service delivery around the world.


The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of precautionary measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on the performance of a radiation oncology departments and on mitigation the risk of COVID-19 contagion between and among patients and staff.


The study period was from March 15 until May 22, 2020. We evaluated total number of patients irradiated and those who initiated treatments, taking into account tumours localisations. We assessed the relationship of potential risk of contagion with patients’ domiciles locations in regions with high number of COVID19 case.

Results and conclusions

The number of patients treated with radiotherapy during the study period decreased due to precautionary measures. After five weeks, the number of radiotherapy treatments began to increase. Just over half of the radiotherapy patients (53.5%) treated at the GPCC reside in the city of Poznan or in one of the ten surrounding counties where COVID19 incidence was low and reached at the end of the study period cumulative number of cases n = 204. The precautionary measures were effective qRT-PCR tests were performed in 1545 individuals (patients and hospital staff) revealing four staff members and none patient with a positive PCR result. Immunoglobulin testing was performed in 1132 individuals (patients and hospital staff). A total of 63 individuals were positive for antibodies.

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Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy