Learning from every case of COVID-19 in cancer patients

The UKCCMP was a NHS clinician-led project to monitor, safeguard and protect individuals with cancer during the coronavirus pandemic.

The project emerged from the collective will of the oncology community in the UK. We launched on the 18th of March 2020. It was one of the first COVID-19 pandemic population-scale projects for cancer patients in the world.

The project was commended by the inquiry report of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Vulnerable groups. It noted the importance and benefit of our research in delivering important data on vulnerable groups very quickly. Our data also formed the basis of the May 2022 independent government report identifying cancer patients most in need of further protection.

We were unique in providing direct real-time updates back to individual Cancer Centres leads, providing insight of high clinical utility to facilitate key decision makers.

The project is a testament to the strength, agility and resilience of UK NHS, excellence of our oncology networks (RCR, ACP, NOTCH, UK chemo board), academic institutions (Birmingham, Oxford, Leeds, UCLH, KCL) and patient networks (Macmillan and CRUK).

“Our key to success was that we learnt from every case to reduce risks to cancer patients, leveraging new health record infrastructure and digital technology to accelerate COVID/cancer insights”

The UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project is Supported by:


Start date: March 2020

Delivery date: May 2020

Cohort: Adult cancer patients

Headline findings: “that chemotherapy can and should be safely delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Impact: A strategic change in thinking about cancer care during the coronavirus pandemic leading to increased chemotherapy prescribing globally.  


Start date: May 2020

Delivery date: Oct 2020

Cohort: Adult cancer patients

Headline findings: “that blood cancer patients are at significantly increased risk. That ITU admissions for cancer patients were significantly low” 

Impact: A landmark shift in terms of COVID/cancer strategy to protect those most at risk and the creation of a shielding list for blood cancer patients. Additionally, significant momentum generated to enable cancer patients with coronavirus to access ITU care. 


Start date: Oct 2020

Delivery date: Feb 2022

Cohort: Adult cancer patients

Headline findings: “Immunotherapy and chemotherapy are not driving excess coronavirus deaths in cancer patients” 

Impact: “Confirmation to the clinical community of the importance of ongoing cancer care to ensure that all patients come forwards and can access UK cancer services”