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ASCO in Action Podcast

Apr 28, 2020

In the latest ASCO in Action Podcast, ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis provides an update on a new initiative, the ASCO Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry (ASCO Registry), which aims to help the cancer community learn more about the pattern of symptoms and severity of COVID-19 among patients with cancer, as well as how the virus is impacting the delivery of cancer care and patient outcomes. “We have an urgent need to learn more about how COVID-19 is directly and indirectly affecting the people with cancer who we serve. In times of crisis, it’s especially important that we learn from every patient so that we can refine our approaches and continue to provide the highest quality care,” said Dr. Hudis. Subscribe to the ASCO in Action podcast through iTunes or Google Play.


The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy, should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.


Welcome to this ASCO in Action podcast, brought to you by the ASCO Podcast Network, a collection of nine programs covering a range of educational and scientific content, and offering enriching insights into the world of cancer care. You can find all of the shows, including this one, at The ASCO in Action Podcast is ASCO's Podcast Series, where we explore policy and practice issues that impact oncologists, the entire cancer care delivery team, and the individuals we care for, people with cancer.


My name is Dr. Clifford Hudis, and I'm the CEO of ASCO, as well as the host of the ASCO in Action Podcast Series. For today's podcast, I want to provide a quick update on one of ASCO's his newest initiatives, the ASCO Survey on COVID-19 and Oncology Registry, which we've launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Now, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a unique threat to people all across the globe. Since the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we've learned that some populations, including people with cancer, are even more likely to have worse outcomes and be especially vulnerable to COVID-19. However, there is still a lot that we do not understand, and we have an urgent need to learn more about how COVID-19 is directly and indirectly affecting people with cancer who are the people we serve.


In response, ASCO recently announced the new ASCO survey on COVID-19 and Oncology Registry, or ASCO Registry, for short. This new initiative was developed under the leadership and vision of ASCO's chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Schilsky, with support from a dedicated team of professional staff who work with him in our Center for Research Analytics, also known as CENTRA. The ASCO Registry was established so that we can learn more about the pattern of symptoms and the severity of COVID-19 among patients with cancer.


We also want to learn how the is impacting the delivery of cancer care, and what it is doing to patient outcomes. We're not just looking at a point in time for these patients either. The ASCO Registry instead will capture longitudinal data on how the virus impacts patient care and outcomes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and into 2021. We hope that this longer term look will tell us if the virus resulted in specific complications for patients, if it delayed patient's ability to get specific types of care or treatment, and if specific certain approaches resulted in better outcomes for patients.


Once we have sufficient data in the registry, we plan to release periodic reports to the cancer community, as well as to the broader public summarizing our key learnings. These reports might include details, like the characteristics of patients with cancer most impacted by COVID-19, estimates of the severity of the disease among patients with cancer, changes or delays in their treatment, and the implementation of telehealth in the cancer care setting. We also hope to be able to report on the clinical outcomes seen among patients with cancer throughout the pandemic, and we might even learn that certain unconventional approaches could allow us to deliver care more efficiently or safely in the future without jeopardizing patient outcomes.


The ASCO Registry is now open to all US oncology practices. This includes physician owned, academic, hospital, or health system own practices, as well as hospitals themselves. Participating practices will be asked to complete a baseline data capture form on each patient with cancer who also has a confirmed case of COVID-19.


Later, these practices will then be asked to provide follow-up information on each patient's status, treatment, and outcomes. The data will be collected on practice level changes, such as new screening procedures, implementation of telehealth in the practice, and changes to the clinical trial enrollment procedures. The ASCO Registry will securely collect limited patient identifying data. This might include zip code, date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity, type of cancer, and comorbidities. But by collecting this type of data, it will then be possible for us to conduct longitudinal analysis.


Data from practices that participate in the registry will be collected and securely stored in the CancerLinQ platform. We're not alone in our work to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care and on the patients who we serve. There are other registries including, the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium or CCC19 and the American Society of Hematology Research Collaborative COVID-19 REGISTRY for Hematologic Malignancy.


The ASH Registry, as well as CCC19 Registry have already been launched, and there are other multi-site registries in development. We're encouraging all oncology practices to participate in one or more of these registries based on their specific needs and based on the patients they serve. Each of these registries has a different focus and a different timeline, so participating in multiple registries will not compromise our efforts, nor will it prevent the organizations involved from working together. We're actively looking for opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues on these initiatives.


The ASCO Registry is part of our ongoing efforts to provide the most current information and resources on the virus to our members and to the larger oncology community. We've developed a wide variety of COVID-19 resources to support clinicians, the cancer care delivery team, and patients with cancer. Some of these resources include, patient care guidance for oncologists who are treating patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic, they also include guidance for practices on how our adjust policies and procedures in response to the virus, and finally, they include updates on federal activities that are responsive to the crisis.


At the same time, we are co-hosting a weekly webinar series with the Oncology Nursing Society, or ONS, on COVID-19. Each of these webinars examines a range of issues and are designed to help clinicians care for people with cancer during the pandemic. You can find all of these resources and more at In addition, there are patient focused resources available at


So as we conclude, I want to again invite all of our listeners to learn more about the ASCO Registry by going to on the web. In times of crisis, it is especially important that we learn from every patient so that we can refine our approaches and continue to deliver the highest quality of care come what may. So until next time, I want to thank you for listening to this ASCO in Action Podcast.


And if you enjoyed what you heard today, don't forget to give us a rating or a review on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. And while you're there, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. The ASCO in Action Podcast is just one of ASCO's many podcasts. You can find all of the shows at