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Proffered Paper session - SARS-CoV-2 and cancer

1561O - The future of the oncology workforce since COVID-19: Results of the ESMO Resilience Task Force survey series


21 Sep 2021


Proffered Paper session - SARS-CoV-2 and cancer


Career Development;  Cancer Research;  COVID-19 and Cancer;  Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer

Tumour Site


Kok Haw Jonathan Lim


Annals of Oncology (2021) 32 (suppl_5): S1129-S1163. 10.1016/annonc/annonc713


K.H.J. Lim1, K. Punie2, C. Oing3, E. Thorne4, K. Murali5, K.V. Kamposioras6, M. O'Connor7, E. Elez8, T.M.S. Amaral9, P. Garrido Lopez10, M. Lambertini11, B. Devnani12, C.B. Westphalen13, G. Morgan14, J.B.A.G. Haanen15, C. Hardy16, S. Banerjee17

Author affiliations

  • 1 Department Of Immunology And Inflammation, Imperial College London & The Francis Crick Institute, W12 0NN - London/GB
  • 2 Department Of General Medical Oncology And Multidisciplinary Breast Centre, Leuven Cancer Institute, University Hospitals Leuven, 3000 - Leuven/BE
  • 3 Department Of Oncology, Hematology And Bone Marrow Transplantation With Division Of Pneumology, Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Centre Hatrics4, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 - Hamburg/DE
  • 4 Division Of Health Research, Faculty Of Health And Medicine, Lancaster University, LA1 4YQ - Lancaster/GB
  • 5 Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, The Royal Children’s Hospital, 3052 - Melbourne/AU
  • 6 Department Of Medical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, M20 4BX - Manchester/GB
  • 7 Medical Oncology Department, University Hospital Waterford, X91 ER8E - Waterford/IE
  • 8 Vall D’hebron University Hospital, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona/ES
  • 9 Department Of Dermatology, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany & Portuguese Air Force Health Care Direction, Lisbon/PT
  • 10 Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal, 28031 - Madrid/ES
  • 11 Department Of Medical Oncology And Department Of Internal Medicine, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino and University of Genoa, 16100 - Genoa/IT
  • 12 Department Of Radiotherapy And Oncology, AIIMS - All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 342005 - Jodhpur/IN
  • 13 Comprehensive Cancer Center Munich & Department Of Medicine Iii, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 81377 - Munich/DE
  • 14 Department Of Medical And Radiation Oncology, Skane University Hospital, 222 41 - Lund/SE
  • 15 Division Of Medical Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL), 1066 CX - Amsterdam/NL
  • 16 Division Of Health Research, Faculty Of Health And Medicine, Lancaster University, LA1 4YG - Lancaster/GB
  • 17 Gynaecology Department, Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust & The Institute of Cancer Research, SW3 6JJ - London/GB


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Abstract 1561O


The ESMO Resilience Task Force has investigated wellbeing since COVID-19 in relation to work, lifestyle and support factors in oncology professionals globally. We reported on the significant impact of the initial surge of the pandemic on wellbeing and job performance (Banerjee et al. 2021). As the pandemic continues, it is imperative to understand experiences and concerns to better inform support measures for the oncology workforce.


Three anonymous online surveys were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic (S1, Apr/May 2020; S2, Jul/Aug 2020; S3, Feb/Mar 2021). Longitudinal analysis of responses at these timepoints were conducted. Here, we present responses to questions on job demands and resources, and perceived job performance since COVID-19 (JP-CV).


We analysed 3894 individual responses (S1, n=1520; S2, n=942; S3, n=1432): 53% (n=1961/3731) female, 45% (n=1679/3731) =/<40 years, 31% (n=1132/3692) non-white ethnicity, >100 countries. There has been significant increases from S1 to S3 (p<0.001) in feeling overwhelmed with workload (29% vs 45%); COVID-19-related clinical (14% vs 58%) and research (16% vs 64%) work; out-of-hours work (16% vs 41%), shift work (12% vs 26%) and overall working hours (17% vs 47%); and inadequate time for personal/family life (35% vs 45%). 59% (n=1156/1946) were unable to take allocated annual leave. While JP-CV has improved (34% vs 49%, p<0.001), there remained concerns about the negative impact of the pandemic on career development/training (43%), job security (37%) and international fellowship opportunities (76%). Overall, less than half had felt supported by their work management, professional societies or government, and/or had access to wellbeing support services. 25% (n=266/1086) were considering changing their future career with 38% (n=100/266) contemplating leaving the profession.


Since COVID-19, oncology professionals have reported increased job demands, concerns over career development/training and job security, and inadequate time for personal life. There is a real threat of potential attrition in the current workforce. National and international stakeholders must act together to ensure robust recovery plans as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.




K.H.J. Lim: Financial Interests, Personal, Invited Speaker, Speaker honorarium: Janssen; Non-Financial Interests, Officer, Trainees committee representative for the North West deanery: Royal College of Physicians (UK); Non-Financial Interests, Officer, Trainees representative at the RCP Patient Safety Committee: Royal College of Physicians (UK); Non-Financial Interests, Officer, ACP representative at the RCP Student and Foundation Doctor Network (SFDN): Royal College of Physicians (UK); Non-Financial Interests, Officer, Trainees committee member: Association of Cancer Physicians (ACP) UK; Non-Financial Interests, Officer, Young Oncologists Committee (YOC): ESMO; Non-Financial Interests, Officer, Resilience Task Force (RTF): ESMO; Other, Currently funded by Wellcome-Imperial 4i Clinical Research Fellowship: Wellcome Trust. K. Punie: Other, Institutional, Other, institution received speaker fees or honoraria for consultancy/advisory roles: AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, Medscape, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Pierre Fabre, Hoffmann La Roche, Mundi Pharma, PharmaMar, Teva, Vifor Pharma; Other, Institutional, Research Grant: Sanofi; Other, Personal, Other, Travel support: AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, PharmaMar and Roche. C. Oing: Other, Personal, Other, research funding and honoraria: Roche; Other, Personal, Other, travel grant and honoraria: Medac Pharma and Ipsen Pharma; Other, Personal, Other, travel grant: PharmaMar. E. Elez: Other, Personal, Other, personal fees: Hoffman La - Roche, Bristol Myers Squibb, Servier, Amgen, Merck Serono, ArrayBiopharma, Sanof. T.M.S. Amaral: Other, Personal, Other, personal fees: Pierre Fabre and CeCaVa; Other, Personal, Other, personal fees and travel grants: BMS; Other, Personal, Other, grants, personal fees and travel grants: Novartis; Other, Personal, Other, grants: Neracare, Sanofi and SkylineDx. P. Garrido Lopez: Other, Personal, Other, personal fees: Roche, MSD, BMS, Boerhinger-Ingelheim, Pfizer, AbbVie, Novartis, Lilly, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Blueprint Medicines, Takeda, Gilead, and ROVI. M. Lambertini: Other, Personal, Other, Consultant: Roche, AstraZeneca, Lilly and Novartis; Other, Personal, Other, Honoraria: Theramex, Roche, Novartis, Takeda, Pfizer, Sandoz, and Lilly. C.B. Westphalen: Other, Personal, Other, honoraria, travel support and advisory board: Bayer, BMS, Celgene, Roche, Servier, Shire/Baxalta, RedHil, and Taiho; Other, Personal, Other, speaker honoraria: Ipsen; Other, Personal, Advisory Board: GSK, Sirtex, and Rafael. J.B.A.G. Haanen: Other, Personal, Advisory Role, personal fees for advisory role: Neogene Tx; Other, Institutional, Other, grants and fees paid to institution: BMS, MSD, Novartis, BioNTech, Amgen; Other, Institutional, Other, fees paid to institution: Achilles Tx, GSK, Immunocore, Ipsen, Merck Serono, Molecular Partners, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech, Sanofi, Seattle Genetics, Third Rock Ventures, Vaximm. C. Hardy: Other, Personal, Other, Director of a private company Hardy People Ltd.: Hardy People Ltd.. S. Banerjee: Other, Institutional, Research Grant: AstraZeneca, Tesaro and GSK; Other, Personal, Other, Honoraria: Amgen, AstraZeneca, MSD, GSK, Clovis, Genmab, Merck Serono, Mersana, Pfizer, Seattle Genetics, and Tesaro. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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