Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early-onset colorectal cancer

Transl Oncol. 2023 Jun;32:101668. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2023.101668. Epub 2023 Apr 5.


The COVID19 pandemic has affected the spectrum of cancer care worldwide. Early onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC) is defined as diagnosis below the age of 50. Patients with EOCRC faced multiple challenges during the COVID19 pandemic and in some institutions it jeopardized cancer diagnosis and care delivery. Our study aims to identify the clinicopathological features and outcomes of patients with EOCRC in our Centre during the first wave of the pandemic in comparison with the same period in 2019 and 2021. Patients with EOCRC visited for the first time at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Spain from the 1st March to 31st August of 2019, 2020 and 2021 were included in the analysis. 177 patients with EOCRC were visited for the first time between 2019 and 2021, of which 90 patients met the inclusion criteria (2019: 30 patients, 2020: 29 patients, 2021: 31 patients). Neither differences in frequency nor in stage at diagnosis or at first visit during the given periods were observed. Of note, indication of systemic therapy in the adjuvant or metastatic setting was not altered. Days to treatment initiation and enrollment in clinical trials in this subpopulation was not affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak.