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APRIL 15, 2020 -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has launched a registry to collect data on cancer patients with COVID-19 and is asking oncology practices across the United States to share information about their patients with the infection for educational purposes.
In a statement, ASCO President Howard "Skip" Burris III, MD said there is a need to know "how the virus is impacting our patients, their cancer treatment, and outcomes to inform current cancer care" and future care.
The web-based registry, known as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry, is open to all US oncology practices. Participating practices will receive an unspecified "nominal" payment for their data entry efforts.
The registry patient information will be stored on ASCO's 'Big Data' platform, known as CancerLinQ, but is being held apart from that pool of data. The registry information will not be available for commercial purposes, ASCO spokesperson Rachel Martin recently told Medscape Medical News.
Separately, CancerLinQ, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASCO, will continue to collect data from its participant oncology practices (as usual), including COVID-19 information.
CancerLinQ has been criticized by ethicists for allowing partner companies to sell access to its data (after stripping off patient identifiers), but without asking for patients' permission, as reported last year by Medscape Medical News.
Eleven practices, including academic enterprises, have so far expressed interested in participating in the ASCO COVID-19 Registry.
Participating practices are requested to send in details about cancer patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. As well as a baseline data capture form, they will need to provide details of subsequent status, treatment, and outcomes. Some patient-identifying data, including zip code, date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity, type of cancer, and comorbidities, will be collected for the purposes of analysis.
ASCO hopes to learn about characteristics of patients with cancer most impacted by COVID-19; estimates of disease severity; treatment modifications or delays; implementation of telemedicine in the cancer treatment setting; and clinical outcomes related to both COVID-19 and cancer.
ASCO says it will deliver periodic reports to the cancer community and the broader public on these and other "key learnings." It also says that the registry is designed to capture point-in-time data as well as longitudinal data on how the virus will impact care and outcomes into 2021.
ASCO is not alone in its data collection efforts.
The COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium is already collecting information from more than 50 cancer centers and organizations on COVID-19 in patients with cancer. The American Society of Hematology (ASH) Research Collaborative COVID-19 Registry for Hematologic Malignancy is doing the same but with a focus on hematologic malignancies.
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