van de Haar J, Hoes LR, Coles CE, Seamon K, Fröhling S, Jäger D, Valenza F, de Braud F, De Petris L, Bergh J, Ernberg I, Besse B, Barlesi F, Garralda E, Piris-Giménez A, Baumann M, Apolone G, Soria JC, Tabernero J, Caldas C, Voest EE
Nat Med 26 (5) 665-671 [2020-05-00; online 2020-04-16]
The current COVID-19 pandemic challenges oncologists to profoundly re-organize oncological care in order to dramatically reduce hospital visits and admissions and therapy-induced immune-related complications without compromising cancer outcomes. Since COVID-19 is a novel disease, guidance by scientific evidence is often unavailable, and impactful decisions are inevitably made on the basis of expert opinions. Here we report how the seven comprehensive cancer centers of Cancer Core Europe have organized their healthcare systems at an unprecedented scale and pace to make their operations 'pandemic proof'. We identify and discuss many commonalities, but also important local differences, and pinpoint critical research priorities to enable evidence-based remodeling of cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, we discuss how the current situation offers a unique window of opportunity for assessing the effects of de-escalating anticancer regimens, which may fast-forward the development of more-refined and less-toxic treatments. By sharing our joint experiences, we offer a roadmap for proceeding and aim to mobilize the global research community to generate the data that are critically needed to offer the best possible care to patients.