Quick Guide to the NCCN’s COVID-19 and Cancer Guidelines

March 18, 2021
Brielle Benyon

Here are the key points to know about the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines on treating cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently published guidelines on the care of patients with cancer during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here is a snapshot of what they recommend on:

  • Vaccines for patients with cancer: The NCCN recommends that patients with cancer — and their caregivers — receive the vaccination whenever they are eligible to do so. The organization even advocated that cancer survivors be prioritized in vaccine distribution. There are certain exceptions, however, like patients undergoing certain treatments for hematologic malignancies.
  • Cancer treatment delays: Current research shows that immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation 1 month prior to COVID-19 exposure does not correlate with increased mortality. However, if a patient is on a cytotoxic chemotherapy and tests positive for COVID-19, they may need to delay treatment.
  • Antibody testing: After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, there is currently no need to undergo continuous antibody testing, according to the NCCN.

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