COVID-19: A Rapid Global response for children with cancer



Re: The COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A Rapid Global response for Children with Cancer from SIOP, COG, SIOP Europe, SIOP-PODC, IPSO, PROS, CCI and St. Jude Global. 


Dear SIOP Europe Members,

As many of you are experiencing, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has implications for children and adolescents with cancer and how we can ensure the best possible diagnosis, treatment and follow up for children and adolescents with cancer. It is now more than ever important that we continue to monitor and share our experiences and expertise in managing our patients during this pandemic.

We are therefore very pleased to inform you that SIOP Europe worked in close collaboration with SIOP and the other key global Societies representing the needs of children and adolescents with cancer to generate the following publication in Pediatric Blood and Cancer:

This Special Report gives a summary of the broad principles for continuing multidisciplinary care during SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and articulates the framework for healthcare teams caring for children with cancer during the pandemic with contributions from the leadership of the International Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), Children’s Oncology Group (COG), St Jude Global programme and Childhood Cancer International.  

Since it is anticipated that the burden will be heaviest on children, their families and cancer care services in low and middle income countries during this global health emergency, the relevant clinical leads from SIOP, SIOP Europe, COG and SIOP-PODC (Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries) were brought together to focus on the six most curable cancers (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL); Burkitt Lymphoma; Hodgkin Lymphoma; Retinoblastoma; Wilms Tumour; Low Grade Glioma) that are part of the WHO Global Initiative in Childhood Cancer.

The overall message is that planned diagnostics and treatment of children with cancer should continue to be delivered in a timely way, with as few modifications as necessary whilst considering patient safety and service constraints. The article provides useful guidance and recommendations for adapting diagnostic and treatment protocols for children with cancer during this pandemic, containment measures (i.e. social distancing, shielding) and how to prepare for the recovery period.

The article is also online with the following DOI on the COVID registry of as well as on the SIOPE COVID-19 Resources and Guidance web page.  Please don’t hesitate to share any relevant information, which we can use to keep our list of resources up to date.  

I would like to thank all our colleagues for the swift cooperation to create this publication and I trust that everyone will be able to continue caring for patients and their families whilst keeping safe.


Kind regards,

Pamela Kearns

SIOP Europe President