The COVID-19 outbreak is posing unprecedented risks and challenges for all communities and healthcare systems worldwide. Inova Schar Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary team is continuously monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. Our dedicated team of experts is up-to-date on developments and CDC guidelines, and has developed a comprehensive response plan to maintain the safety and well-being of our patients and community. We are fully open for the care of cancer patients, including active treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Unlike many centers around the country, our clinical trial operation is fully open and available to enroll our patients for new treatment options.
Adults and children with serious chronic health conditions, including cancer, are at higher risk of developing more serious complications from contagious illnesses such as COVID-19 and currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 or specific treatment for it. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and Inova Schar has implemented patient and visitor screenings at all locations.
Inova Schar has also joined colleagues around the country and soon, around the world, as part of the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), a group of over 85 cancer centers and other organizations who have come together to collect data with the common cause of understanding better the unique effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, including a history of cancer. The CCC19 intent is to rapidly collect and disseminate information about this especially vulnerable population.
Not only is the Inova Schar team working with colleagues and cancer centers across the country to share information on the impact COVID-19 has on cancer patients, our team of physicians are leading national efforts to determine the best way of treating cancer patients during the pandemic.
Dr. Mateo Ziu, medical director of Inova Brain and Spine Tumor Program and medical director of neuro-oncology at Inova Schar Cancer Institute, was one of the senior authors on a publication providing guidelines for a proactive and coordinated approach to care for adults with brain tumors in order to provide the best care, highlighting opportunities to maximize the benefit and minimize the risk of glioma management during this pandemic, and potentially, the future.
Additionally, Dr. Shawna Willey, Peterson Chair of Breast Cancer Research at Inova Schar and President of American Society of Breast Surgeons, helped author an article on recommendations for clinicians on how to prioritize care for their breast cancer patients and adapt treatment recommendations to the local resources available at each hospital across the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents clinicians and patients a unique set of challenges and Inova Schar is committed to providing education and information to reassure our community that we are taking the appropriate measures to protect them and our team members from the spread of COVID-19.
For more information please head to https://www.inova.org/patient-and-visitor-information/covid-19-advisory.