We open this sixth edition of our newsletter with the excellent news that Unit Director Professor Dion Morton has received an OBE! Please read on to find out more. We are also very pleased to announce the publication of the first COVIDSurg-Cancer paper and to share news on the Unit’s studies and activities.

Please continue to send us any items that you would like to be included in future editions of the newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.


Professor Dion Morton has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to innovation in the NHS. Huge congratulations to Dion for this well-deserved recognition.  

NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery Holds Annual Meeting Online

This is the time of year we are usually planning our annual research prioritisation meeting – looking forward to meeting friends and colleagues for meetings and training. This year sadly the Covid19 pandemic has prevented us from meeting in person so it was a real delight to see so many of our unit members join us for an online meeting on the 8th of October 2020. As always, it was extremely encouraging to hear of the developments and achievements across our partners and studies. We look forward to celebrating these developments together in person in the not-to-distant future.   


As FALCON completed its recruitment journey in September, the network is busy inputting and cleansing data in preparation for swift publication. Calls have been scheduled to discuss the final remaining actions with Hub teams individually; with a view to completing data entry and cleansing by 08/11/2020. The team in Birmingham are grateful as ever to teams across the network, who are working so hard to ensure the trial is published as quickly as possible.  


With 29 hospitals randomised, 18 sites already active and recruiting and >1000 patients entered in just over 3 months of our first site opening, CHEETAH is really picking up pace!
We`re looking forward to welcoming our South African and Nigerian Hubs any day now, hoping for a positive response from the Mexican REC, and beginning training in Ghana and Benin too! So, we truly are in a strong and exciting position, thanks to all of our teams for their efforts to date in getting us to this point!
A reminder to those sites active and recruiting to keep a close eye on the aggregate data registers coming out from each of your teams. As a cluster randomised trial we are forever under the watchful eye of our oversight committees and our Trial Management Group to demonstrate we have strategies in place to monitor for selection bias! We do this by closely monitoring registers to ensure ALL consecutive patients are being recruited, and any discrepancies between the numbers of patients eligible to participate and the numbers of patients actually registered and entered onto REDCap are aligned! So please encourage your teams to continue to focus their attentions on accurately capturing this data, and addressing any queries raised by the CHEETAH Central Trials team at BCTU as a priority.
Great job everyone, and Thank You! We still have a long way to go…but this is an amazing start, and with FALCON preparing to publish timing could not be better for turning our thoughts to CHEETAH and the next wave of trials in our portfolio, exciting!


Crocodile is a study about catastrophic expenditure and access to colorectal cancer care in India. Five cancer centres from various states in India will be enrolled. Training sessions for data collection have started with our Hub and will continue with the spokes very soon, with data collection hopefully starting in November.

First COVIDSurg-Cancer paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology
The COVIDSurg Collaborative has published its second major data driven paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This paper provides real-world evidence of the effectiveness of COVID-19 free surgical pathways in protecting patients undergoing elective cancer surgery from the pulmonary complications associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The research hopes to give the surgical community the urgent data needed to support re-start of elective surgery, and strengthen health system resilience during future waves.

JCO Publication  (Journal of Clinical Oncology) from COVIDSurg Collaborative
Elective Cancer Surgery in COVID-19–Free Surgical Pathways During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: An International, Multicenter, Comparative Cohort Study  https://ascopubs.org/doi/pdfdirect/10.1200/JCO.20.01933 

The publication is already making a global impact, with a higher Altmetric score than 99% of studies ever tracked: https://asco.altmetric.com/details/91890469#score 

Please do share the data with your friends and colleagues!

We held an interactive webinar discussing the findings of the paper with an esteemed expert panel: Aneel Bhangu, James Glasbey, Karoi Futaba, Adewale Adisa and Ana Minaya Bravo. We had 300 attendees join us live and some topical discussion points were covered including:
  • how to set up a cold site when resources are limited
  • which patients should be prioritised in which scenario 
  • the “dose effect” incremental benefit of protective measures for patients
 If you missed it, catch up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujuD2nDXMek

We would love to hear from you for the next edition of the newsletter.
Please send any updates that you would like included to Tammy Dufty by 2nd November
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others that you think might be interested.



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