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Covid-19 and cancer study launched in UK

A woman with cancer


A major study had been launched to assess the impact of Covid-19 on people with cancer in the UK.

The Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) CANCER-UK project will run over 12 months, looking at almost 7,000 patients with confirmed cancer.  

The aim is to assess whether certain treatments and cancer types have different outcomes and mortality rates in relation to Covid-19.  

Professor Carlo Palmieri, who is a researcher the University of Liverpool oncology department, said the findings should ‘inform clinical decisions’ around cancer treatment and the level of risk from Covid-19.  

He said the study will ‘compare cancer patients with non-cancer patients so we get a real understanding about what it means to have cancer and cancer treatment with Covid-19′.  

Research has previously found that people with cancer can be more vulnerable to Covid-19, but this may not be the case for all cancer patients. 

University of Liverpool senior clinical lecturer Dr Lance Turtle explained: ‘Some [cancer patients] may be at greater risk, whereas others may have much less risk.’ 

The study has received £340,000 from UK Research and Innovation and the National Institute for Health Research, with additional funding from The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity. 

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the sponsor for the study, which will be delivered with support from the Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, and was developed through the Liverpool Health Partners (LHP) Cancer Programme.  

LHP Cancer Programme director Professor Andrew Pettitt said: ‘By bringing together leading researchers in cancer and infection, this important new study will provide badly needed information on Covid-19 outcomes in people with cancer and thereby help to shape public health policy during the chronic phase of the pandemic.’ 

In July, research suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to 35,000 extra cancer deaths in the UK because of diagnosis and treatment delay, and GPs reported having cancer referrals ‘inappropriately’ turned down by hospitals during the pandemic.