The care of children with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic

Daniel C Moreira, Gerard C Millen, Stephen Sands, Pamela R Kearns, Douglas S Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably changed health services for children with cancer worldwide by creating barriers throughout the care continuum. Reports available at this time suggest that asymptomatic and mild upper and lower respiratory tract syndromes are the most common presentation of COVID-19 in children with cancer. Nonetheless, severe cases of COVID-19 and deaths secondary to the infection have been reported. In addition to the direct effects of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, children with cancer have suffered from the collateral consequences of the pandemic, including decreased access to diagnosis and cancer-directed therapy. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to safe and effective care of children with cancer, including their enrollment in therapeutic clinical trials. Data from the Children's Oncology Group and Cancer Research U.K. Clinical Trials Unit show variability in the enrollment of children with cancer in clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the overall effects on outcomes for children with cancer undergoing care during the pandemic remain largely unknown. In this article, we review the current knowledge about the direct and collateral effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on clinical trial enrollment and operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e305-e314
JournalAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology educational book / ASCO. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Meeting
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021


  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology
  • General Medicine


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