News Release 

Major study of cancer and COVID-19 launched in the UK

University of Liverpool

Grant Announcement

A new UK study has been launched to assess the impact of covid-19 on people with cancer.

People with cancer are among those at higher risk of covid-19 complications, as cancer and its treatment can weaken the immune system. In addition, there has been disruption to cancer diagnosis and treatment because of the pandemic.

The Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) CANCER-UK project will run over 12 months and will examine questions that are important for the care of patients with cancer. The study will also determine covid-19 infection and mortality rates in people with different types of cancer, as well as those receiving different treatments, by collecting and analysing patient data.

With almost 7,000 patients with both confirmed cancer and covid-19 diagnoses already enrolled, it will be one of the largest and most detailed studies in the world.

This study is a companion to the highly successful UK arm of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C), which is led by researchers from Liverpool, Edinburgh and Imperial College London. ISARIC4C has collected data from 79,000 patients in the UK with covid-19, around 9% of whom also have cancer.

CCP CANCER-UK is being led by Professor Carlo Palmieri, Professor in Translational Oncology at the University of Liverpool and Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, and Dr Lance Turtle, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Liverpool University Hospitals, in collaboration with ISARIC4C.

Professor Carlo Palmieri said: "Using anonymised data from patients, our aim is to look ahead to see whether certain cancer types or treatments have different outcomes in relation to covid-19. We predict our findings will inform future clinical decisions around cancer treatment and the level of risk from SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes covid-19, to individual patients.

"A unique feature of this study will be the ability to directly compare cancer patients with non-cancer patients so we get a real understanding about what it means to have cancer and cancer treatment with covid-19."

Dr Lance Turtle added: "Although we know that patients with cancer are more susceptible to covid-19, we strongly suspect that this is not the case across all cancer patients. Some may be at greater risk, whereas others may have much less risk. This study will allow us to determine this, giving much more detail as how to advise patients with cancer about the risks of covid-19."

The study has received £340,000 from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), with additional funding from The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the sponsor for the study, which will be delivered with support from the Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre.

The study was developed through the Liverpool Health Partners (LHP) Cancer Programme as part of a unique cross-collaborative approach put in place to drive and support the development of cancer/covid-19 research projects.

Professor Andrew Pettitt, Director of the LHP Cancer Programme, said: "CCP-CANCER-UK epitomises the collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to research that is being fostered and supported as part of the LHP Cancer Programme. By bringing together leading researchers in cancer and infection, this important new study will provide badly needed information on covid-19 outcomes in people with cancer and thereby help to shape public health policy during the chronic phase of the pandemic. Securing funding from UKRI is a significant achievement and reflects exemplary leadership and teamwork."


Notes to Editor

University of Liverpool

Founded in 1881 as the original 'red brick', the University of Liverpool is one of the UK's leading research-intensive higher education institutions with an annual income of £577.7 million, including £98.6 million for research.

Consistently ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide, Liverpool is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and has a global reach and influence that reflects its academic heritage as one of the country's largest civic institutions.

The University has 33,500 students, 9,000 of whom travel from all over the world to study here, and a thriving community of 228,000 alumni in 171 countries.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is one of the UK's leading cancer centres, employing more than 1,400 staff members and treating more than 30,000 patients each year with solid tumours and blood cancer. Combining world-class clinical services, research and academic excellence, we are one of the UK's leading providers of non-surgical cancer treatment including pioneering chemotherapy, radiotherapy and eye proton therapy.

As well as caring for more than 2.4million people in Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, the Isle of Man and parts of Lancashire, our reputation and specialist services attract national and international cancer patients.

In June 2020, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will open a brand new, specialist cancer hospital in Liverpool city centre. The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool is part of a £162million investment in cancer care across the region. The eleven-storey building, situated close to the University of Liverpool and Royal Liverpool University Hospital to improve patient access to specialist services and clinical trials.

For more information, visit or follow us on social media @CCCNHS.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

* Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care

* Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research

* Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future

* Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services

* Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy

The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.

UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.?

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the Arts and Humanities Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Economic and Social Research Council; Innovate UK; Medical Research Council; Natural Environment Research Council; Research England; and Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.