Cancer research goes on despite lockdown

Li Qian
Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center's Xuhui branch launches a clinical trial on a female patient to evaluate an experimental treatment for breast cancer.
Li Qian

The COVID-19 lockdown hasn't stop the city’s prestigious cancer hospital carrying out pioneering research on cancer treatment.

Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center’s Xuhui branch on Monday launched a clinical trial on a female patient surnamed Zhang to evaluate an experimental treatment for breast cancer.

The hospital had planned to carry out the test on January 21, the day when the hospital was put under closed-loop management after a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19. It canceled the test on Zhang as medical staff, patients and their relatives were quarantined.

After surgery, Zhang suffered a relapse early this month. After hearing about the hospital’s experimental treatment, she volunteered to take part.

She was hospitalized on January 19, waiting for the test scheduled two days later. But the outbreak caused it to be suspended. Doctors had tried to persuade her to receive alternative treatment, but she was determined to try the new one.

“After receiving her feedback, we immediately talked to medical professionals and experts on the prevention and control of COVID-19 to seek solutions,” said Wu Jiong, vice president of the hospital. “After a full consideration and assessment, we decided to try our best to make it happen under strict prevention and control measures.”

On Monday afternoon, Zhang received the treatment in a designated place which had been fully disinfected. Clinical trial pharmacists, who are quarantined, guided and monitored on-site pharmacists, performed the trial through a remote system.

Meanwhile, the hospital launched other clinical trials on another three patients.

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