Research Topic

The Effects of COVID-19 on Cancer Research Methods & Strategies

About this Research Topic

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to inflict a severe public health challenge throughout the world. The ease via which the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted, combined with the potential for cases to require acute care and the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g. lockdowns), has meant that healthcare systems have been significantly disrupted by the outbreak.

It is evident that the provision of cancer services and patient outcomes has been strongly impacted by the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Suspected cancer referrals have declined sharply, creating a concern that many individuals could be missing an opportunity for curative treatment (diagnostic delays). Furthermore, consistent clinical guidelines are yet to be established for the management of cancer patients in a SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and the friction within pathways of care has dramatically increased (changes to treatment and treatment delays).

Whilst work to address issues related to the immediate provision of cancer care is extremely urgent, it is also important to examine the impact that the pandemic may be having on cancer research. Governmental agencies have been issuing guidance regarding clinical trials during the pandemic, and research teams have been adapting, with some reporting successful of clinical trials continuity. However, there remains an important question with regards to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may be having on the future of cancer research methods and strategies.

This Research Topic aims to report on (but is not limited to) quantitative and qualitative studies with a specific focus on the following research areas:
• Impact of COVID-19 on the conduct of cancer research both from a practical as well as behavioral or sociological point of view;
• Impact of COVID-19 on cancer research strategies and priorities, taking into account the economic impact on federal and philanthropic organizations;
• Impact of COVID-19 on pharmaceutical cancer research agenda;
• Wider impact of COVID-19 on global cancer research systems.

Studies focused on the above themes could aim to answer questions such as the below:
• Factors that may be affecting volitional participation in research during the COVID-19 pandemic;
• Whether factors affecting study participation or research methods differentially impact certain segments of the populace;
• How the COVID-19 experience may be affecting qualitative research;
• How the COVID-19 experience may be affecting quality of life research;
• Reports of beneficial adaptations to research conduct and methods that were necessitated by the pandemic;
• What the economic implications of the pandemic are for cancer research.

We would like to acknowledge Research Topic Coordinator, Mr. Louis Fox, who has contributed to the development of this Research Topic.


Keywords: COVID-19, cancer, research methodology, research funding


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to inflict a severe public health challenge throughout the world. The ease via which the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted, combined with the potential for cases to require acute care and the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g. lockdowns), has meant that healthcare systems have been significantly disrupted by the outbreak.

It is evident that the provision of cancer services and patient outcomes has been strongly impacted by the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Suspected cancer referrals have declined sharply, creating a concern that many individuals could be missing an opportunity for curative treatment (diagnostic delays). Furthermore, consistent clinical guidelines are yet to be established for the management of cancer patients in a SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and the friction within pathways of care has dramatically increased (changes to treatment and treatment delays).

Whilst work to address issues related to the immediate provision of cancer care is extremely urgent, it is also important to examine the impact that the pandemic may be having on cancer research. Governmental agencies have been issuing guidance regarding clinical trials during the pandemic, and research teams have been adapting, with some reporting successful of clinical trials continuity. However, there remains an important question with regards to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may be having on the future of cancer research methods and strategies.

This Research Topic aims to report on (but is not limited to) quantitative and qualitative studies with a specific focus on the following research areas:
• Impact of COVID-19 on the conduct of cancer research both from a practical as well as behavioral or sociological point of view;
• Impact of COVID-19 on cancer research strategies and priorities, taking into account the economic impact on federal and philanthropic organizations;
• Impact of COVID-19 on pharmaceutical cancer research agenda;
• Wider impact of COVID-19 on global cancer research systems.

Studies focused on the above themes could aim to answer questions such as the below:
• Factors that may be affecting volitional participation in research during the COVID-19 pandemic;
• Whether factors affecting study participation or research methods differentially impact certain segments of the populace;
• How the COVID-19 experience may be affecting qualitative research;
• How the COVID-19 experience may be affecting quality of life research;
• Reports of beneficial adaptations to research conduct and methods that were necessitated by the pandemic;
• What the economic implications of the pandemic are for cancer research.

We would like to acknowledge Research Topic Coordinator, Mr. Louis Fox, who has contributed to the development of this Research Topic.


Keywords: COVID-19, cancer, research methodology, research funding


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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