The World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Lung Ambition Alliance, launched the COVID-19 Lung Cancer EU Taskforce, to rapidly assess the learnings and address the needs of lung cancer patients whose care was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taskforce includes European-level and national policy makers, business leaders, members of patient advocacy groups and professional societies, and others who share common concerns when it comes to effectively treating lung cancer in the new world of COVID.
The consequences of the current COVID-19 crisis are significantly affecting lung cancer patients. These patients are immunocompromised, and they have respiratory symptoms similar to that of COVID, making them more likely to catch coronavirus and have the diagnosis missed. As such, patients have started avoiding treatment centres for fear of exposure to the virus. This is when treatment is available. During the height of the outbreak, many hospitals diverted their efforts exclusively to COVID patients and cancer clinics suspended or limited services.
The aim of the Taskforce is to rapidly learn lessons from the first wave of the pandemic and make recommendations to both address the short term back-log in patient care and long term need for system resiliency should a second wave emerge. Outputs will include one or more documents that address key insights, best practices and policy recommendations.