COVID-19 and Cancer Global Modelling Consortium (CCGMC):

This consortium (CCGMC website) (introductory page on this website) is one of the largest groupings within the COVID-19 and Cancer Global Taskforce, led by Professor Karen Canfell from Australia with Working Group leaders Professors Ophira Ginsburg (NYU, Lagone) and Freddie Bray (IARC, WHO).

Working Group 1 – Delays to cancer treatment and outcomes

The technical team is currently drafting a systematic review on COVID risks and mortality for people with cancer. The team is also looking into how SurvMark cancer survival data can inform models used to evaluate potential cancer treatment delays during the pandemic. Two major publications have been produced on modelling the impact of delayed diagnosis for four major cancers in the English NHS ( led by Dr Ajay Aggarwal and a systematic review and meta-analysis of mortality due to cancer treatment delay published in BMJ (, led by Prof Chris Booth (Canada) and Dr Ajay Aggarwal (UK)

Working Group 2 – Cancer screening program disruptions

Working Group 2 activities are progressing within respective project teams.

Breast cancer project team

The Breast Cancer project team has reviewed five existing screening models: Policy1-Breast (Australia); SIMRiSC for high risk familial breast cancer (multiple countries); the UCL Multistate model (UK and other countries); 1-2 CISNET (USA) and; MISCAN (Netherlands and Europe). Current aims are to document the impact of COVID using population specific data sources and determine impacts on breast cancer screening services including number of women screened and mortality. The team is working on a manuscript summarising how existing models can inform these recovery strategies in different populations. The team will be exploringopportunities to work more closely with the ICSN and their coming surveys to
document disruption related to breast cancer screening services in the second survey.

Cervical cancer project team

The first findings from this project team findings are being written up as part of an invited submission in early 2021 to a special issue of Preventive Medicine on COVID-19 and cancer screening. The HPV Prevention Board meeting also included discussion about anticipated delivery and supply-side challenges in cervical cancer prevention, and the data required to inform modelling. The team is also working on a commentary piece on insights on the impact of COVID-19 on cervical cancer screening which policy makers should consider when framing their country/region specific response. Dr Kate Simms is also looking at the impact of COVID-19 related delays on cervical cancer deaths across 78 low-and lower-middle income countries. These preliminary results inform the impact of elimination delays in LMIC and highlight the importance of maintaining access to cancer treatment and diagnostic services in these settings.

Colorectal cancer project team

The Colorectal Cancer project team has completed their first modelled analysis, assessing the potential health impact of COVID-19 disruptions to CRC screening, and a manuscript is under review with Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The second analysis is currently underway and is exploring the prioritisation of colonoscopy services after lockdown and optimal screening restart scenarios in Australia (Policy1-Bowel), Canada (OncoSim) and the Netherlands (MISCAN-Colon
and ASCCA).

Working Group 3 – Cancer prevention during the crisis

Working Group 3 is currently completing a systematic review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tobacco smoking. As part of a planned wider search covering non-academic literature and reports, we are also calling for information on surveys from around the world that capture the impact of COVID-19 on behavioural cancer risk factors (e.g. smoking, alcohol, bodyweight, physical inactivity, diet).