COVID-19 and financial toxicity in patients with renal cell carcinoma.

To ascertain renal cell carcinoma (RCC) financial toxicity on COVID-19 during the COVID-19 crisis as patients are struggling with therapeutic and financial implications.

An online survey was conducted from March 22 to March 25, 2020. It included baseline demographic, clinicopathologic, treatment-related information, anxiety levels related to COVID-19, questions related to financial concerns about COVID-19 as well as the validated 11-item COST measure.

Five-hundred-and-thirty-nine patients (39%:58% male:female) from 14 countries responded. 23% of the patients did not feel in control of their financial situation but 8% reported being very satisfied with their finances. The median COST score was 21.5 (range 1-44). Metastatic patients who have not started systemic therapy had a COST score (19.8 range 2-41) versus patients on oral systemic therapy had a COST score (23.9 range 4-44). Patients in follow-up after surgery had a median COST score at 20.8 (range 1-40). A low COST scores correlated (p < 0.001) were female gender (r = 0.108), younger age (r = 0.210), urban living situation (r = 0.68), a lower educational level (r = 0.155), lower income (r = 0.165), higher anxiety about acquiring COVID-19 (r = 0.198), having metastatic disease (r = 0.073) and a higher distress score about cancer progression (r = 0.224).

Our data highlight severe financial impact of COVID-19. Acknowledging financial hardship and thorough counseling of cancer patients should be part of the conversation during the pandemic. Treatment and surveillance of RCC patients might have to be adjusted to contemplate financial and medical needs.

World journal of urology. 2020 Oct 22 [Epub]

Michael D Staehler, Dena J Battle, Cristiane D Bergerot, Sumanta Kumar Pal, David F Penson

Department of Urology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, University of Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany. ., Kidney Cancer Research Alliance (KCCure), Alexandria, VA, USA., Department of Medical Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA, USA., Department of Urology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.