COVID-19 and Cancer: Current Challenges and Perspectives

Cancer Cell. 2020 Oct 1;S1535-6108(20)30492-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.09.018. Online ahead of print.


Patients with cancer have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This effect has included the adverse outcomes in patients with cancer who develop COVID-19, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of cancer care, and the severe disruption to cancer research. However, patients with cancer are a heterogeneous population, and recent studies have now documented factors that allow risk stratification of patients with cancer in order to optimize care. In this review, we highlight data at the intersection of COVID-19 and cancer, including the biological interplay between the two diseases and practical recommendations for the treatment of patients with cancer during the pandemic. We additionally discuss the potential long-lasting impact of the pandemic on cancer care due to its deleterious effect on cancer research, as well as biological insights from the cancer research community that could help develop novel therapies for all patients with COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; cancer; cancer research; pandemic.

Publication types

  • Review