How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Oncology Community

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Over the past month, medical societies worldwide have been monitoring the escalating outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its effect on international and domestic travel and making difficult decisions to cancel or postpone their scientific conferences or make them available digitally.

On March 24, ASCO announced that it is canceling the in-person 2020 Annual Meeting, scheduled for May 29–June 2 in Chicago, and instead will present its scientific program in a virtual format during this timeframe. According to the statement, ASCO is exploring opportunities to present its educational program later this year.

“Our mission is as important as ever. That is why we still intend to deliver the latest cancer science to the global community during the Annual Meeting timeframe using a virtual format that respects the contributions of the authors and the work of the Scientific Program Committee. In addition, abstracts will be published online and in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on our usual schedule. ASCO’s educational program will not take place during this timeframe, and we are exploring opportunities for the future,” according to the statement.

Updates on the format of the virtual meeting, dates, specific content, registration, refunds, and other details will be available in the coming weeks and posted on

Other major scientific meetings have also been postponed or canceled. They include:

  • American Association for Cancer Research 2020 Annual Meeting (, originally scheduled for April 24–29 in San Diego. It is being rescheduled for later this year.
  • American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 (, originally scheduled for April 23–25 in Los Angeles, has been canceled.
  • American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics 2020 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting (, originally scheduled for March 17–21 in San Antonio, has been tentatively rescheduled for August 25–29, 2020.
  • American Academy of Neurology 2020 Annual Meeting (, originally scheduled for April 25–May 1 in Toronto, has been canceled.
  • The Binaytara Foundation Summit on National and Global Cancer Health (, originally scheduled for April 3-4 in Bellevue, Washington, has been postponed until the fall of 2020, although no specific date has yet been determined.
  • Experimental Biology 2020 (, originally scheduled for April 4–7 in San Diego, has been canceled.
  • RECOMB 2020 (Research in Computational Molecular Biology;, an international conference on research in computational molecular biology, originally scheduled for May 10–13 in Padova, Italy, has been postponed. The new date has not yet been announced.


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