COVID19 and its impact on clinical cancer research: the EORTC network experience

The impact to innovation and the affect to cancer patients will be measured in the coming years. In the last month, with the reduction of number of new COVID-19 cases easing the stress on country wide healthcare systems has meant that the EORTC network can resume their research activities and start recruiting patients again. The research community is bracing itself for the financial crisis following the aftermath of the pandemic, as this will determine the funding that will be available to conduct clinical research especially for independent trials. A recent survey completed by the EORTC network has demonstrated that the response of hospitals in general in the EU (but not the case in UK) has been to maintain clinical cancer research activities as much as possible. After an expected decrease of recruitment on clinical trials, it can be seen that specific exit strategies are at various stages of maturity, showing a revitalized increase in the recruitment of patients to clinical trials.

“EORTC is grateful to its network and its key representatives across Europe for their continued support despite the new challenges they had to face,” said Dr Denis Lacombe, EORTC Director General. “We continue with our mission to improve survival and quality of life of patients. This pandemic can only make us more determined to provide the best innovation in treatment and care for cancer patients.”



1Safeguarding cancer care in a post-COVID-19 world

Editorial; The Lancet Oncology; volume 21, issue 5, p603, May 01, 2020; DOI:

2Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer treatment and research

Lancet Haematol 2020; Comment; Vol 7, Issue 6, E423-E435; April 24, 2020;

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