Implications of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and COVID-19 Crisis on Clinical Cancer Care: Report of the University Cancer Center Hamburg: Report of the University Cancer Center Hamburg

  • With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemia, routine clinical work was immediately, deeply, and sustainably impacted in Germany and worldwide. The infrastructure of almost all hospitals is currently redirected to provide a maximum of intensive care resources, including the necessary staff. In parallel, routine as well as emergency clinical care for all patients in need has to be secured. This challenge becomes particularly evident in cancer care. In order to maintain adequate oncological care at all levels of provision and to conduct especially curative and intensive treatments with a maximum of safety, continuous adaption of the oncology care system has to be ensured. Intensive communication with colleagues and patients is needed as is consequent expert networking and continuous reflection of the own developed strategies. In parallel, it is of high importance to actively avoid cessation of innovation in order not to endanger the continuous improvement in prognosis of cancer patients. This includes sustained conduction of clinical trials as well as ongoing translational research. Here, we describe measures taken at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) - a recognized comprehensive oncology center of excellence - during the COVID-19 crisis. We aim to provide support and potential perspectives to generate a discussion basis on how to maintain high-end cancer care during such a crisis and how to conduct patients safely into the future.

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