COVID-19 and cancer – Part 2

Dear BSMO members and colleagues,

We have the pleasure to invite you for participation in part II of our nationwide, BSMO-sponsored study: ‘Characteristics and outcomes of patients with cancer and COVID-19 in Belgium’.

As you might be aware, data collection for part I of this project, where we compared in-hospital mortality between patients with and without cancer hospitalized with COVID-19 in Belgium, was achieved through collaboration with Sciensano and based on the Sciensano questionnaires, which are available for more than 70% of all hospitalized patients. Almost 1200 patients with solid cancer were evaluable for the baseline analysis in part I of this project. The manuscript has been published in ESMO Open and can be viewed here.

The Sciensano questionnaire contains information on demographics, comorbidities, COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment and outcome. However, no details on cancer status, cancer type or current/prior anticancer treatments are available in the Sciensano database. Moreover, no follow-up information is collected, which is needed to gain insights in the impact of prior hospitalization with COVID-19 on anticancer treatment plans. Therefore, additional data collection through part II is essential to clearly disentangle the correlations between COVID-19, cancer status, treatment and outcome. We need your help to ensure the success of this data collection.

So far, 24 Belgian hospitals are participating in this academic nationwide collaborative study with BSMO as legal sponsor. We have obtained funding for this study, and a financial contribution of 150€ per patient entered in this study is foreseen for the participating site.

If you are interested to participate with your institution, please send an email to and we will guide you through each of the steps detailed below. Guidance given by the principal investigators of this study and a data manager dedicated to this project will be foreseen for every necessary step.

  1. Submission of the protocol to your local ethical committee.
    Given the retrospective design of this study, individual informed consent is not expected to be required by the local ethical committees to whom this study will have to be submitted by the participating investigator.
  2. Identification of the oncology patients hospitalized in your institution with COVID-19 and data transfer between the Sciensano contact person at your institution and you as participating investigator.
    For the purpose of this study, the overview of patients with solid cancer hospitalized with COVID-19 at your institution can be obtained through the Sciensano contact person at your institution.
    Some institutions will have kept an own separate source of their completed questionnaires which could also be used to identify the patients with solid cancer and obtain their Sciensano questionnaire data.
  3. Complete the eCRF for each patient
    With the obtained list of patients with solid cancer hospitalized with COVID-19, the individual patients’ information can be entered in the eCRF (on an easy-to-use online platform: REDCap) by uploading the obtained Sciensano questionnaire and by completing the cancer-specific baseline and follow-up questions for each individual included in the study. You will be guided in this process once you get to this stage.

With kind regards and many thanks in advance.
On behalf of the BSMO Executive Board

Evandro de Azambuja
Principal Investigator & Past BSMO Board Member
Kevin Punie
Co-Principal Investigator & BSMO Board Member
Mariana Brandão
Junior Principal Investigator
Tatjana Geukens
Junior Principal Investigator
Marjolein Heijlen
Study Coordinator


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