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COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium Gains International Ground

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Saturday, Apr 18, 2020

Toni K. Choueiri, MD, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Professor at Harvard Medical School

Toni K. Choueiri, MD

The COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), a multicenter effort to obtain evidence-based information on patients with cancer who have tested positive for COVID-19, has now gained international members—making it a worldwide collaboration, explained Toni K. Choueiri, MD. 

In an interview with OncLive, Choueiri, who is also the leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, shared some of these updates regarding CCC19 and other changes he has experienced in clinical practice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

OncLive: You are on the steering committee for the CCC19. What is the latest information you can provide on it?

Choueiri: I'm on the steering committee of the CCC19 with many colleagues around the country, and now we are branching out even to Europe. We have Dr. Solange Peters, who is actually from Switzerland and is the current president of ESMO, and she is also on the CCC19 steering committee—making this a global collaboration. What we are trying to do is get first-hand information and real-world data on these patients who have COVID-19 and cancer at the same time—not just for patient actively receiving therapy, but also for patients with a prior history of cancer. 

It puts us all together, because we need to understand what impact COVID-19 has on our patients with cancer and how it's affecting our practice. At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we moved a lot of our patients to virtual visits, whether we are doing face-to-face using a Zoom-type form, or [over the phone]. We still have face-to-face patient encounters, but this is changing. We are at the frontlines of this pandemic, and we need to understand, from an oncological perspective, what's happening with our patients. Hopefully, this is an attempt to understand and dig more. The fact that it is national with many centers, and now European centers, will make us hopefully, understand this pandemic and learn from best practices.

Opening this up to more of a global scale must be really exciting. Are there any kind of numbers so far as to how many people have actually taken the survey?

We are actually entering data as we speak. We have hundreds of cases, but there are many variables for each case. We have people working on entering the data actively; it includes anything from a past history of medication, comorbidities, and other [factors that] are all entered, along with cancer type and stage.
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