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Christos Sotiriou, FNRS Research Director

Institut Jules Bordet, ULB - FNRS
" Cancer patients under active treatment are thought to be highly vulnerable with regards to the current pandemic of COVID-19 disease. Their management has drastically changed over the past weeks, as clinics have been forced to adapt their care strategies according to national guidelines, postponing all non-essential consultations and having patients avoid the clinic altogether as much as possible. However, it is currently unclear if cancer patients are indeed at a higher risk of developing COVID-19 disease, and if systemic oncological treatment contributes to more severe disease because of suppression of the immune system, or rather protects against fatal cytokine release storms and acute respiratory distress syndromes. This information is absolutely crucial for the safety assessment of using cancer treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the monitoring of cancer patients during this period. Therefore, this project is a non-interventional, population-based, combined retrospective-prospective cohort study with registry linkage. It aims to to investigate the clinical presentation and outcomes of cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Belgium compared to non-cancer patients, as well as their cancer characteristics, anticancer treatments, toxicities, changes in treatment plans and long-term survival. In addition, in the future, this information could be integrated with data from other countries/registries, in order to compare and combine the outcomes of patients with vs without cancer with COVID-19 and among cancer patients. "
Funding: We applied to the Coronavirus 2020 Crédit Urgent de Recherche of FNRS and are waiting for the outcome.
Publication References: [1] Guan W et al, N Engl J Med 2020 [2] WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020. [3] Worldometer.info/coronavirus - 19 April 2020 [4] Zhang L et al, Ann Oncol 2020 [5] Liang W et al, Lancet Oncol 2020 [6] Dai M-Y et al, Lancet (preprint), 2020
Contact: Christos Sotiriou BCTL Rue Héger‐Bordet 1 1000 BRUSSEL Belgium This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19