Patient Engagement/Monitoring

Belong.Life Real-World Patient Research

Using Patient Data Collected from Belong’s Global Cancer App, Study Shows Need for Further Research into Understanding Pathway Intersections of COVID and Cancer

Belong.Life, a leading global tech provider of high-engagement patient communities and care platforms, today announced that the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has published a Belong.Life abstract in its 2022 Annual Meeting Abstract Book providing new insight into cancer diagnosis and reactivation following COVID-19 infection. The study was based on anonymized data aggregated from the Belong – Beating Cancer Together app, which is used by almost 1 in 10 U.S.-based cancer patients.

“Belong.Life connects patients with their peers and healthcare experts to help navigate and manage their treatments and improve their care journey. Through our trove of anonymized patient generated data, we can share essential information and insight that benefits the entire ecosystem—patients, caregivers, health professionals, providers, and pharma,” said Belong.Life CTO, Irad Deutsch. “This information brings real value to the cancer community, which is a key element of the work we do at Belong. We are grateful to all the doctors and our engaged Belongers who participated in this study.”

The study (abstract e18775) examined the possible role of COVID-19 in a diagnosis of a primary cancer following the viral infection, as well as the subsequent diagnosis of a recurrence. Of the 124 participants who fulfilled the criteria to be surveyed for the study, 109 (88%) had a primary diagnosis of cancer following a COVID-19 infection and 15 (12%) had a recurrence. Among the most prevalent cancers diagnosed were breast, lung and gastrointestinal cancer. Additionally, the timeframe from COVID-19 infection to a new diagnosis or recurrence was less than 6 months in 46% of the participants.

This study highlights the need for further analyses to understand the intersection pathways of COVID-19 infection and cancer development or reactivation. 

“Understanding the role that COVID-19 may play in cancer diagnosis can help doctors prepare for the effect that future viruses may have on the immune system and cancer diagnosis or reoccurrence,” said Belong.Life Medical Director and PI of the study, Dr. Daniel Vorobiof. “This study, and others we have conducted in the past, demonstrate the important role social networking and digital health platforms play in better understanding an individual’s treatment journey, together with the collective journey towards improved diagnosis and care for patients.”

ASCO’s annual meeting is taking place in Chicago from June 3 – 7.

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