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Cancer & Covid: Prevention and Treatment including Monoclonal Antibodies (MoABs)

Background

The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused worldwide problems in the care of cancer patients. In particular, the therapy of cancer patients, both outpatient and inpatient, has been substantially impacted by major restrictions due to the isolation and hygiene measures. Not only the restriction of treatment under pandemic conditions but also a SARS-CoV-2 infection itself poses a risk for cancer patients. In fact, first studies have consistently shown increased risk due to COVID-19 infection in cancer patients.

Due to the often compromised immune responses in cancer patients, vaccines have only limited effectiveness and, to date, only a few antiviral agents are available. Neutralising antibodies might become an important pillar in the treatment of COVID-19 infection in immunocompromised patients.

Monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) against SARS-CoV-2 can be used in both settings: prevention and treatment. They may also protect cancer patients from COVID-19 by reducing the incidence and the risk of symptomatic COVID-19, including severe cases. Furthermore, studies also show long-lasting protection in terms of preventing COVID-19.

Project Goals

The aim of this project is to spread awareness and knowledge among HCPs on what is currently available to protect at-risk patients, prevent more serious damage due to COVID-19 disease and improve patients' quality of life in a COVID-19 risk or infection setting.

In particular the project goals are:

  • To introduce HCPs to the list of EMA approved or discussed COVID-19 treatments
  • To identify opportunities for and challenges of MoABs against COVID-19 for cancer patients in terms of treatment and prevention
  • To share the latest scientific and clinical evidence on the use of all approved agents and MoAbs against COVID-19 with a focus on cancer patient-related applications
  • To gain the confidence of HCPs in the use of and access to all approved agents and MoAbs against COVID-19

Project Target Group

HCPs - Transplantation Teams – Oncologists – Immunologists – Haematologists - Virologists - Cancer Institutes - Healthcare Public Authorities

Project Approach and Outcomes

This multi-step project will consist of:

  • An online Task Force
  • A Scientific Position Statement, to be published in the Cancerworld magazine
  • A series of Educational Webinars

Task Force - 22 June 2022

During the virtual Task Force (closed session, not accessible to the public), renowned experts provided a general overview of the impact of COVID on cancer patients and discussed the evidence for the use of Monoclonal Antibodies (MoABs) in patients with haemato-oncological and solid tumours.

Scientific Position Statement

The most important results of the Task Force have been summarised in a scientific article published on the Cancerworld magazine. To read the full article please click here.

Webinars

Following the first two steps, here is the proposal for the 3 webinars planned as the third step of the Cancer & Covid Project.

Webinar 1 – COVID and haematological malignancies
Live – 22 or 24 November 2022 – 18:00-19:00 CET
Discussant: Carsten Bokemeyer, DE
Speakers: Carsten Niemann, DK – Anna Sureda, ES – Expert invited, not yet confirmed

Webinar 2 – Treatment of Solid Tumour patients who have severe Covid
Live – 13 or 15 December 2022 – 18:00-19:00 CET
Discussant: Expert invited, not yet confirmed
Speakers: Experts invited, not yet confirmed

Webinar 3 – To be defined
Live – 19 or 26 January 2023 – 18:00-19:00 CET
Discussant: Expert invited, not yet confirmed
Speakers: Experts invited, not yet confirmed

Final timelines, programmes, faculties and further information about the webinars will be available soon.