We are pleased to report that all our staff are currently in good health and the clinic continues to run normally with all appointments taking place via telemedicine – video or telephone.

The COC Protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak

We felt it would be helpful to address a question which our doctors have been asked by a number of patients recently: is it useful to continue with the COC Protocol in a scenario where standard of care interventions such as surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy are being paused or postponed?

The short answer is that yes, we believe it is. The COC Protocol down-regulates cancer cell metabolism (or in other words, it “starves” cancer cells) and therefore may be beneficial to you during a time where there is a wait for your standard of care to start or to resume.

While it is always our preference for the COC Protocol to run alongside standard of care wherever possible, the research literature and our own analysis of our Glioblastoma brain tumour cohort shows there is the potential for it to play a supportive role when administered as standalone therapy too – click here to read: Frontiers: A case study in Glioblastoma

We would also like to further reassure you that none of the COC medications cause immunosuppression, and where it is safe and appropriate, our physicians will actively consider upward dose adjustments, particularly in a situation where systemic treatment has been interrupted. 

Interval blood tests and other concerns

We understand that it may currently be difficult to arrange your usual follow up blood tests at your hospital or GP surgery and if this is the case, please contact us to discuss your situation. In line with our usual advice, we also ask that you contact us if you think you may be experiencing any adverse effects, symptoms of an infection/other symptoms of concern or have any general questions regarding your COC treatment at this time. 

COVID-19 driving forward research into existing drugs

One silver lining of the current virus outbreak is that the spotlight is being shone on repurposing of medicines in a way that has never happened before. Different groups of researchers are busy evaluating how existing licensed medications could be usefully deployed in COVID-19 infection. For example, the following article from a well-respected French bioinformatics organisation examines possible druggable targets in COVID-19 and it is interesting to note that both metformin and atorvastatin are mentioned as two of the possible 97 agents that require further study in this context – click here to read: Repositioning common approved drugs against COVID-19

This underscores that well-conducted, robust research into repurposed medicines is a logical and important therapeutic strategy in cancer and many other disease processes.

General Advice

UK government: NHS – advice for everyone

Cancer Research UK: CRUK – COVID-19

Macmillan Cancer Support: Macmillan – COVID-19. Their helpline is available for further questions relating to clinical, practical and financial information. Please call 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm).

Finally, should you need to book in a review or have any questions you’d like to discuss with our team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on t: +44 (0)20 3855 5939,

Care Oncology Clinic Team