Before there was funding, there was a need.
“Patients with cancer needed to understand immediately what COVID-19 meant [for] their health. Providers and practices needed guidance on how to offer safe care,” recalled Howard A. Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chair of the ASCO Board of Directors, of the days following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “And research had to continue—before we knew what a new normal might be, we knew cancer research was essential.”
Before there was funding, there was a response.
“We identified priorities, which included our COVID-19 resource page on ASCO.org and patient FAQ on Cancer.Net, as well as webinars, including some in partnership with the Oncology Nursing Society and others aimed at international audiences,” said Dr. Burris. “And we established the ASCO Registry, which will be the most comprehensive collection of data on how COVID-19 impacts patients with cancer now and after the pandemic.”
As ASCO offered its answers to COVID-19, one question echoed from across the oncology community: How can we help?
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, launched the COVID Impacts Cancer fund. Donors—from corporations to individuals quarantined in their homes—made contributions and created fundraising teams through a special website, CONQUER.ORG/WeCan. At press time, more than $6 million has been donated.
“We won’t immediately know the aftermath this pandemic will have on the oncology community. Patients will likely suffer from research delays. Health-care providers are bound to suffer burnout,” said Thomas G. Roberts, Jr, MD, FASCO, Chair of the Conquer Cancer Board of Directors. “But COVID Impacts Cancer is a promise to cancer care teams and the patients they serve that we are here and our mission to conquer cancer has not lost its momentum.”
To learn more about the research funded by Conquer Cancer and the COVID Impacts Cancer campaign, visit CONQUER.ORG.
© 2020. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.