Effects of COVID-19 on Pediatric Cancer Care: A Multicenter Study of 11 Middle Eastern Countries

Mahmoud M. Elzembely, Abdulhakim Al Rawas, Abdulqader Al-Hebshi, Abdulrahman Alhadi, Ahmed K. Ibrahim, Amal Ahmed Zein, Iman Ragab, Eman Taryam Alshamsi, Enas Dammag, Fatiha Gachi, Gamal Hussien Zain, Hadeel Saleh Mohammad, Hisham Haddad, Houda Boudiaf, Ibrahim Alharbi, Iyad Sultan, Khadra Hasan Salami, Mohamed S. Bayoumy, Naima Ali Al-Mulla, Nawal Al MashaikhiRami Mohammed Almajali, Roula Farah, Saad A. Al Daama, Salah Ahmad, Seham M. Ragab, Shady H. Fadel, Soha Ahmed, Suleimman Al-Sweedan, Suzy Abdelmabood, Waleed Khaled Kaleem, Youssef Madney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, major challenges are facing pediatric cancer centers regarding access to cancer centers, continuity of the anti-cancer therapy, hospital admission, and infection protection precautions. Pediatric oncologists actively treating children with cancer from 29 cancer centers at 11 countries were asked to answer a survey from May 2020 to August 2020 either directly or through the internet. COVID-19 pandemic affected the access to pediatric cancer care in the form of difficulty in reaching the center in 22 (75.9%) centers and affection of patients' flow in 21 (72.4%) centers. Health care professionals (HCP) were infected with COVID-19 in 20 (69%) surveyed centers. Eighteen centers (62%) modified the treatment guidelines. Care of follow-up patients was provided in-hospital in 8(27.6%) centers, through telemedicine in 10 (34.5%) centers, and just delayed in 11 (38%) centers. Pediatric oncologists had different expectations about the future effects of COVID-19 on pediatric cancer care. Seventy-six percent of pediatric oncologists think the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the use of telemedicine. Fifty-five percent of pediatric oncologists think if the COVID-19 pandemic persists, we will need to change chemotherapy protocols to less myelosuppressive ones. Collaborative studies are required to prioritize pediatric cancer management during COVID-19 era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e87-e91
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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