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A specialized medical team from An-Najah National University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences published a research study titled: Suggestive approach for handling cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic: Perspectives from a developing country on how to adapt current practice.

The team was headed by Dr. Riad Amer, Head of the Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Department at An-Najah National Hospital.

The study addressed the potential challenges and possible actions for clinicians to manage cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 1 April 2020, the data shows more than 200 countries and territories have been affected, with more than 824,000 con-firmed cases and 41,000 deaths. Across the globe, many cancer patients visit the hospital and clinics for treatment and investigations. A large number of this population are immunocom-promised, either due to their underlying disease or cancer treatments which put them at higher risk for infection and complications.

In addition, several risk factors have been identified that increase the risk and severity of infection with COVID-19, and cancer patients commonly have many of them. Recently, a large retrospective study among cancer patients infected with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, found a higher incidence of severe events in cancer patients compared to patients without cancer.

Therefore, the study authors acted upon local guidelines to ensure the continuation of essential cancer services without overwhelming the health care system.

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