Edited by
Eduardo Franco et al.

Special Issue: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer prevention, control, care and survivorship

Our latest Special Issue brings together research covering many different aspects of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer outcomes across the globe.
Collection
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The COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse impact on multiple public health fronts.

Proper cancer prevention, control, care, and post-cancer survivorship rely on the critical importance of screening, early diagnosis, treatment and monitoring for recurrence of the disease, as well as the maintenance of preventative programs. These interventions were affected by interruptions and delays caused by the pandemic.

Cancer patients are also more vulnerable to the clinical impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and thus have a higher risk of mortality from the joint effects of the infection and the underlying neoplastic disease.

This Special Issue brings together empirical and model-based research to form the knowledge base for public health action to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer outcomes.

To mark the launch of this Special Issue, eLife Deputy Editor Diane Harper and Senior Editor Eduardo Franco explore the similarities between the COVID-19 pandemic and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, and talk about the articles in this collection in their editorial.

Interested in hearing from the authors in this collection? Join us at our symposium on Wednesday, April 17 at 3pm BST | 10am EDT| 2pm UTC.

Book your place

Note: Due to the timing of the call for papers, articles included in this Special Issue were accepted for publication before the introduction of our new publishing model.

Collection

    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    COVID-19 and Cancer: Acting on past lessons and learning new ones

    Eduardo L Franco, Diane M Harper
    eLife has published a special issue containing articles that examine how cancer prevention, control, care and survivorship were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Editorial
    Formats available:
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    1. Cancer Biology
    2. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Effect of cancer on outcome of COVID-19 patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of unvaccinated patients

    Giulia Di Felice, Giovanni Visci ... Paolo Boffetta
    A twofold increased risk of adverse outcomes (mortality, ICU admission, and severity of COVID-19) has been demonstrated in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients with cancer compared to COVID-19 patients without cancer.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breast cancer screening indicators in a Spanish population-based program: a cohort study

    Guillermo Bosch, Margarita Posso ... Francesc Macià
    The COVID-19 pandemic reduced participation in a Spanish population-based breast cancer screening program, especially among regular participants, while other outcomes like recall and cancer detection were not negatively affected by the interruption of screening.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology

    A model-based analysis of the health impacts of COVID-19 disruptions to primary cervical screening by time since last screen for current and future disruptions

    Emily A Burger, Inge MCM de Kok ... Megan A Smith
    Despite the overall impact of COVID-19-related cervical cancer screening disruptions on cervical cancer outcomes being small, disruptions disproportionately affect underscreened women, underpinning the importance of reaching such women as a critical area of focus, regardless of temporary disruptions.
    1. Medicine
    2. Cancer Biology

    International multicenter study comparing COVID-19 in patients with cancer to patients without cancer: Impact of risk factors and treatment modalities on survivorship

    Issam I Raad, Ray Hachem ... Anne-Marie Chaftari
    Remdesivir is a promising treatment modality to reduce 30 day all-cause mortality.
    1. Cancer Biology
    2. Medicine

    Procalcitonin for antimicrobial stewardship among cancer patients admitted with COVID-19

    Hiba Dagher, Anne-Marie Chaftari ... Issam Raad
    Procalcitonin could be useful in enhancing antimicrobial stewardship in cancer patients with COVID-19.
    1. Cancer Biology
    2. Medicine

    Long COVID in cancer patients: preponderance of symptoms in majority of patients over long time period

    Hiba Dagher, Anne-Marie Chaftari ... Issam I Raad
    Long COVID occurred in the majority of cancer patients diagnosed with acute COVID-19 with a preponderance of symptoms (such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal symptoms) over a long time period.
    Short Report Updated
    Formats available:
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    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Medicine

    The impact of lag time to cancer diagnosis and treatment on clinical outcomes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

    Parker Tope, Eliya Farah ... Eduardo L Franco
    Investigating standard lag times prior to the pandemic and identifying key methodological considerations in lag time research can guide future investigations into the impact of time to care for patients with cancer.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Participation in the nationwide cervical cancer screening programme in Denmark during the COVID-19 pandemic: An observational study

    Tina Bech Olesen, Henry Jensen ... Berit Andersen
    The participation in cervical cancer screening in Denmark was reduced at the start of the pandemic although with longer follow-up time most women resumed screening.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on breast and cervical cancer screening in Denmark: A register-based study

    Mette Hartmann Nonboe, George Napolitano ... Elsebeth Lynge
    Denmark continued cancer screening during the pandemic, but following the first lockdown a temporary drop was seen in breast and cervical screening activity.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Italian population-based cancer screening activities and test coverage: Results from national cross-sectional repeated surveys in 2020

    Paolo Giorgi Rossi, Giuliano Carrozzi ... Paola Mantellini
    The COVID-19 pandemic caused an important delay in screening activities at the national level and increased the pre-existing individual and geographical inequalities in access.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Nationwide participation in FIT-based colorectal cancer screening in Denmark during the COVID-19 pandemic: An observational study

    Tina Bech Olesen, Henry Jensen ... Morten Rasmussen
    The participation in the FIT-based colorectal cancer screening programme and subsequent compliance to colonoscopy after a positive FIT test was only slightly affected during the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    A modelled evaluation of the impact of COVID-19 on breast, bowel, and cervical cancer screening programmes in Australia

    Carolyn Nickson, Megan A Smith ... Karen Canfell
    Modelled estimates for changes in cancer incidence, staging, and demand on health services are presented for a range of potential COVID-related disruptions to national population screening programmes for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, indicating markedly different impacts for each programme.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    An umbrella review of systematic reviews on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer prevention and management, and patient needs

    Taulant Muka, Joshua JX Li ... John PA Ioannidis
    A diverse and substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care is observed, including delays in treatment, screening, and diagnosis, as well as on the psychosocial welling of patients with cancer.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Projected long-term effects of colorectal cancer screening disruptions following the COVID-19 pandemic

    Pedro Nascimento de Lima, Rosita van den Puttelaar ... Carolyn M Rutter
    Unequal recovery in colorectal cancer screening following the COVID-19 pandemic can widen disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Point of View: COVID-19 as a catalyst for reimagining cervical cancer prevention

    Rebecca Luckett, Sarah Feldman ... Suzanne Garland
    The Policy Committee of the International Papillomavirus Society describes how lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic could propel a new approach to the elimination of cervical cancer that is more likely to be successful.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Quantification of impact of COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening programmes – a case study from Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and Thailand

    Eric Lucas, Raul Murillo ... Partha Basu
    Well-coordinated, decisive, and collective actions remain critical to make screening programmes more equitable and resilient in the face of natural and geo-political calamities.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Perceived barriers to cervical cancer screening and motivators for at-home human papillomavirus self-sampling during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results from a telephone survey

    Susan Parker, Ashish A Deshmukh ... Jane R Montealegre
    Mailed at-home HPV self-sampling kits present an opportunity to reduce important barriers to cervical cancer screening among women in a safety net healthcare system.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Medicine

    Pan-Canadian survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cervical cancer screening and management: cross-sectional survey of healthcare professionals

    Mariam El-Zein, Rami Ali ... Survey Study Group
    Decline in cervical cancer screening and challenges faced by healthcare professionals and patients when the pandemic was declared emphasize the importance of implementing human papillomavirus (HPV) primary screening, HPV self-sampling, and telemedicine to continue cervical cancer screening and care.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Building resilient cervical cancer prevention through gender-neutral HPV vaccination

    Irene Man, Damien Georges ... Iacopo Baussano
    Shifting from girls-only to gender-neutral HPV vaccination strategy improves the resilience of cervical cancer prevention and enhances progress towards cervical cancer elimination.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    The impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening and treatment in older adults: The Multiethnic Cohort Study

    Victoria P Mak, Kami White ... Loic Le Marchand
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer-related screening and healthcare practices varied (by age, race/ethnicity, education, and comorbidities), and considering these differences in high-risk individuals' monitoring is important as undiagnosed cases or poor prognosis may increase due to delayed screening/treatment.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Nationwide mammography screening participation in Denmark during the COVID-19 pandemic: An observational study

    Tina Bech Olesen, Henry Jensen ... Sisse H Njor
    Only a minor reduction in mammography screening participation was observed during the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Healthcare in England was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the pancreatic cancer pathway: A cohort study using OpenSAFELY-TPP

    Agnieszka Lemanska, Colm Andrews ... Alex J Walker
    COVID-19 negatively affected pancreatic cancer care by reducing surgical resections and pre-diagnostic testing with BMI and HbA1c, and it also negatively affected the quality of data for research.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Understanding disruptions in cancer care to reduce increased cancer burden

    Kia L Davis, Nicole Ackermann ... Vetta L Sanders Thompson
    Many people canceled cancer screening and cancer care appointments during the pandemic, but cancer prevention and control practitioners must proactively facilitate their return to care to avoid widening cancer health disparities.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    A review of HPV and HBV vaccine hesitancy, intention, and uptake in the era of social media and COVID-19

    Emily K Vraga, Sonya S Brady ... Shalini Kulasingam
    A review of the current empirical literature underscores the need for longitudinal research examining potential spillover effects between hesitancy, intention, or uptake for the COVID vaccine and HPV and HBV vaccines, especially to account for social media misinformation.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Medicine

    Examining the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cervical cancer screening practices among clinicians practicing in Federally Qualified Health Centers: A mixed methods study

    Lindsay Fuzzell, Paige Lake ... Rebecca Perkins
    In late 2021 and early 2022, many clinicians in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) reported reduced cervical cancer screening and reported that pandemic-related staffing shortages impacted screening and follow-up.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Examining the association of clinician characteristics with perceived changes in cervical cancer screening and colposcopy practice during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed methods assessment

    Lindsay Fuzzell, Naomi C Brownstein ... Rebecca B Perkins
    Reductions in cervical cancer screening and colposcopy among nearly half of surveyed clinicians more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic raise concerns that inadequate screening and follow-up will lead to future increases in preventable cancers.
    1. Medicine

    Electronic data review, client reminders, and expanded clinic hours for improving cervical cancer screening rates after the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns: A multicomponent quality improvement program

    Sue Ghosh, Jackie Fantes ... Rebecca B Perkins
    The largest federally qualified health center in Massachusetts was able to improve cervical cancer screening rates during the COVID-19 pandemic by creating clinical sessions devoted only to screenings.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    A rapid review of COVID-19’s global impact on breast cancer screening participation rates and volumes from January to December 2020

    Reagan Lee, Wei Xu ... Jonine Figueroa
    A reduction in breast screening participation volume during COVID-19 that differed by region and healthcare setting was observed in a rapid review of 26 studies globally, suggesting monitoring of screening access by disadvantaged groups to reduce disparities.

Contributors

  1. Eduardo Franco
    Senior Editor
  2. Diane M Harper
    Deputy Editor
  3. Wadih Arap
    Reviewing Editor
  4. Nyasha Chambwe
    Reviewing Editor
  5. Talía Malagón
    Reviewing Editor
  6. Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer
    Reviewing Editor
  7. Nicolas Schlecht
    Reviewing Editor
  8. Wilbert Zwart
    Reviewing Editor
  9. Johannes Berkhof
    Guest Editor
  10. Hedyeh Ebrahimi
    Guest Editor
  11. Nicolas Schlecht
    Reviewing Editor
  12. Electra Paskett
    Guest Editor