UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Evidence-Based Strategies for the Treatment of Peritoneal Malignancies during Health Care Resource Restriction: The COVID-19 Pandemic Shariff, Farhana; Bischof, Danielle; Govindarajan, Anand; Prince, Rebecca; Burkes, Ronald; Haase, Erika; Mack, Lloyd; Temple, Walley; Hebbard, Pamela; Boulanger-Gobeil, Cindy; et al.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on hospital resources, and has affected all aspects of patient care. As operative volumes decrease, cancer surgeries must be triaged and prioritized with careful thought and attention to ensure maximal benefit for the maximum number of patients. Peritoneal malignancies present a unique challenge, as surgical management can be resource intensive, but patients have limited non-surgical treatment options. This review summarizes current data on outcomes and resource utilization to help inform decision-making and case prioritization in times of constrained health care resources. Methods: A rapid literature review was performed, examining surgical and non-surgical outcomes data for peritoneal malignancies. Narrative data synthesis was cross-referenced with relevant societal guidelines. Peritoneal malignancy surgeons and medical oncologists reviewed recommendations to establish a national perspective on case triage and mitigating treatment strategies. Results and Conclusions: Triage of peritoneal malignancies during this time of restricted health care resource is nuanced and requires multidisciplinary discussion with consideration of individual patient factors. Prioritization should be given to patients where delay may compromise resectability of disease, and where alternative treatment options are lacking. Mitigating strategies such as systemic chemotherapy and/or surgical deferral may be utilized with close surveillance for disease stability or progression, which may affect surgical urgency. Unique hospital capacity, and ability to manage the complex post-operative course for these patients must also be considered to ensure patient and system needs are aligned.

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