Interruptions in bladder cancer care during the COVID-19 public health emergency

John L. Gore, Kristin Follmer, Jason Reynolds, Michael Nash, Christopher B. Anderson, James W.F. Catto, Karim Chamie, Siamak Daneshmand, Rian Dickstein, Tullika Garg, Scott M. Gilbert, Thomas J. Guzzo, Ashish M. Kamat, Max R. Kates, Brian R. Lane, Yair Lotan, Ahmed M. Mansour, Viraj A. Master, Jeffrey S. Montgomery, David S. MorrisKenneth G. Nepple, Brock B. O'Neil, Sanjay Patel, Kamal Pohar, Sima P. Porten, Stephen B. Riggs, Alexander Sankin, Kristen R. Scarpato, Neal D. Shore, Gary D. Steinberg, Seth A. Strope, Jennifer M. Taylor, Bryan A. Comstock, Larry G. Kessler, Erika M. Wolff, Angela B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Academic and community urology centers participating in a pragmatic clinical trial in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer completed monthly surveys assessing restrictions in aspects of bladder cancer care due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Our objective was to describe pandemic-related restrictions on bladder cancer care. Methods: We invited 32 sites participating in a multicenter pragmatic bladder cancer trial to complete monthly surveys distributed through REDCap beginning in May 2020. These surveys queried sites on whether they were experiencing restrictions in the use of elective surgery, transurethral resection of bladder tumors (TURBT), radical cystectomy, office cystoscopy, and intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) availability. Responses were collated with descriptive statistics. Results: Of 32 eligible sites, 21 sites had at least a 50% monthly response rate over the study period and were included in the analysis. Elective surgery was paused at 76% of sites in May 2020, 48% of sites in January 2021, and 52% of sites in January 2022. Over those same periods, coinciding with COVID-19 incidence waves, TURBT was restricted at 10%, 14%, and 14% of sites, respectively, radical cystectomy was restricted at 10%, 14%, and 19% of sites, respectively, and cystoscopy was restricted at 33%, 0%, and 10% of sites, respectively. Conclusions: Bladder cancer care was minimally restricted compared with more pronounced restrictions seen in general elective surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116.e17-116.e21
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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