Practice considerations for proton beam radiotherapy of uveal melanoma during the COVID-19 pandemic: PTCOG Ocular experience.
Mishra KK., Afshar A., Thariat J., Shih HA., Scholey JE., Daftari IK., Kacperek A., Pica A., Hrbacek J., Dendale R., Mazal A., Heufelder J., Char DH., Sauerwein W., Weber DC., Damato BE.
Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare but life-threatening cancer of the eye. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and proton eye therapy facilities must analyze several factors to ensure appropriate treatment protocols for patients and provider teams. Practice considerations to limit COVID-19 transmission in the proton ocular treatment setting for UM are necessary. The Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG) is the largest international community of particle/proton therapy providers. Participating experts are/were affiliated with the member institutions of the PTCOG Ocular subcommittee with long-standing high-volume proton ocular programs. The practices reviewed in this document must be taken in conjunction with local hospital procedures, multidisciplinary recommendations, and regional/national guidelines, as each community may have its unique needs, supplies, and protocols. Importantly, as the pandemic evolves, so will the strategies and recommendations. Given the unique circumstances for UM patients, along with indications of potential ophthalmologic transmission as a result of healthcare providers working in close proximity to patients and intrinsic infectious risk from eyelashes, tears and hair, practice strategies may be adapted to reduce the risk of viral transmission. Certainly, providers and health care systems will continue to examine and provide as safe and effective care as possible for patients in the current environment.