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Michael A. Davies, MD, PhD, discusses the management of patients with melanoma during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michael A. Davies, MD, PhD, the Anne and John Mendelsohn Chair in Cancer Research; professor and chair of the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine; co-leader, Melanoma Moon Shot Program, Department of Moon Shots Program; and director of research activities in the Department of Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the management of patients with melanoma during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patients with melanoma who are receiving immunotherapy have many questions due to concerns about severe lung reactions in those who contract COVID-19, according to Davies. However, there have also been questions as to whether immunotherapy provides a protective effect, he continues.
Currently, there are no answers to these questions, although informally, the international melanoma community has come to the consensus that patients do not appear to be doing better or worse as a result of the pandemic. The melanoma community has been spared the level of concern that has arisen for patients with hematologic malignancies who are receiving chemotherapy, Davies says. Experts in the field feel comfortable administering targeted therapies and immunotherapies during the pandemic, Davies concludes.