War in Ukraine: The Global Medical Knowledge Alliance's response to improving cancer care

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Published: 22 Aug 2023
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Prof Richard Sullivan, Asst. Prof Darya Kizub and Asst. Prof Nelya Melnitchouk

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 second set of interviews 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), Asst. Prof Darya Kizub (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA) and Asst. Prof Nelya Melnitchouk (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) discuss the Global Medical Knowledge Alliance's mission to improve cancer and trauma care in Ukraine.

Asst. Prof Kizub highlights the ways in which the GMKA has helped aid those in Ukraine by providing access to healthcare professionals and medical treatments. She continues to discuss the shortages of systemic therapies in parts of Ukraine at the beginning of the war.

Asst. Prof Melnitchouk talks about the challenges of acquiring data and insights on cancer patients in Ukraine.

The conversation concludes as they discuss the future of cancer care in Ukraine.

More information about the Global Medical Knowledge Alliance can be found here

You can read more about the Special Network here and here