As a follow-up to our survey from March 2020, we sought to get updated views from our patient communities regarding concerns and anxieties related to the COVID-19 virus as well as to get additional thoughts about the vaccine roll-out.
Similarly to our March survey, over 500 patients participated. Eighty-seven percent of patients were from the United States. People from 47 states participated. The only states not represented were Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont.
Thirty-three percent of patients were receiving systemic therapy for metastatic disease or as adjuvant treatment. Nearly half of the patients receiving systemic therapy were on some type of immunotherapy treatment.
Patient views related to their risk of acquiring COVID-19 went down slightly from 71 percent in March 2020 to 63 percent in January 2021.
Patient anxiety related to COVID-19 as well as disease progression remained high, averaging 7 on the NCCN distress scale. Anxiety related to the COVID-19 vaccine was lower, with an average score of 4.5 out of 10.
Most patients are willing to get the vaccine, however over a quarter of patients expressed uncertainty.
The most pressing concerns about the vaccine were related to general uncertainty about safety as well as fears that the vaccine could interfere with treatment. In the open-ended portion of the survey, patients expressed reservations about how the vaccine might interact with immunotherapy.
Most patients had not been in contact with their doctor about the vaccine. Only 22 percent said that they would let their doctor decide for them. Of the patients who had consulted with their doctor, 95 percent were advised to get the vaccine.
While patients expressed an overall willingness to get the vaccine, they expressed a high degree of uncertainty as to whether they would have the same level of protection from the vaccine compared to people without cancer.
Just about half of patients responded that they planned to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Just over a third of patients said they were uncertain as to when they would get the vaccine.
Over 90 percent of respondents indicated a generally favorable view of vaccines.
Kidney cancer patients remain anxious about acquiring COVID-19. They are willing to get vaccinated against the virus, but they are uncertain about the overall safety and have concerns about how the vaccine might impact their cancer treatment.