The role of the Global Coalition for Radiotherapy in the war in Ukraine

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Published: 25 May 2022
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Dr Ruslan Zelinskyi, Prof Patricia Price

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022 has created a massive humanitarian crisis for Ukraine and Europe generating huge challenges for cancer and palliative care. As of the 1st May some 12-13 million Ukrainian citizens were still trapped in active conflict zones, nearly 8 million had become internally displaced, mostly to the West, and nearly 6 million had left to become refugees.

In support of the WHO Ukraine Cancer Emergency Response and the ECO-ASCO Special Network: Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer ecancer has commissioned a special set of interviews with some of the key actors in the cancer humanitarian response both within and outside Ukraine.

This first set of interviews, conducted some 2 months into the conflict, serve both as sources of on-the-ground experience and as living witness and testament to the extraordinary work of doctors, patient organisations, professional groups and UN agencies such as WHO in their efforts to adapt to the many challenges.

Prof Richard Sullivan (Kings College London, London, UK), Dr Ruslan Zelinskyi (Clinic Spizhenko, Kapitanivka, Ukraine) and Prof Patricia Price (Imperial College London, London, UK) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.

Prof Price begins by explaining how the Global Coalition for Radiotherapy was initially setup at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how this led on to support for radiotherapy colleagues in Ukraine.

Dr Zelinskyi then details his background in radiotherapy and the current situation and state of provision for radiotherapy in Ukraine.

Prof Price explains the problems facing refugees and displaced patients who require radiation treatment not just in Ukraine but in neighbouring countries as well.

You can read more about the Special Network here and here