Special Network: Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer

Contact the Network

The Board of the European Cancer Organisation has agreed to launch a Special Network on the impact of COVID-19 on Cancer, on a “task and finish” basis to be co-chaired by Board members Mirjam Crul and Mark Lawler. 

You can access resources and information related to COVID-19 gathered from our Member Societies and other organisations here.

The Special Network is aiming at:

  • Collecting intelligence to capture the Europe-wide experience of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on cancer and the different responses to the pandemic

  • Employing this collective intelligence to provide:
    • Policy leadership at the European level to redesign cancer services in the Covid-19 era
    • Prepare healthcare services for cancer care delivery during a potential second wave
    • Set out a focused and prioritised multidisciplinary cancer care policy for European citizens and patients for current and future pandemics

Our Member SocietiesPatient Advisory Committee and other participants in this Network will collaborate on dealing with following challenges:

  • Identifying Shortages/Deficiencies and defining practical solutions (PPEs and ventilators, medicines, availability of cancer-focused healthcare staff, willingness of citizens to access cancer services)

  • Addressing Hospital and Organisation issues and how they can be tackled (disruption of cancer services, separation of Covid-19 hospitals from dedicated cancer care services, E-health, public awareness on healthcare safety during a pandemic, cross-border access to cancer care, movement of healthcare professionals)

  • Defining Knowledge gaps for multidisciplinary cancer care during/post pandemic and how they can be addressed (current/future impacts of the lockdown on cancer patients and cancer services, with respect to outcomes and mortality, “shutdown” of cancer screening programmes, delay in cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment postponement and safety during a pandemic)

In July, our President Matti Aapro and the Co-Chairs of the Network met with John Ryan and Matthias Schuppe from DG Santé, to discuss the information gathered by our Member Societies and Patient Advocacy Committee.  They agreed to keep in close contact as the Network’s activities continue during the remainder of 2020.

In addition, this year's European Cancer Summit on 18 & 19 November included a session on the impact of COVID-19 on cancer. Find out more here.

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