Nearly half of UK cancer patients who caught coronavirus died – a much higher rate than counterparts in Europe, a study suggests. Researchers found that UK patients were less likely to be receiving cancer treatment during the pandemic and less likely to be given the best life-saving therapies once they had caught the virus. The worse death rate also reflects the fact that British cancer sufferers tended to be less fit generally. The study, published in the European Journal of Cancer, included 1,392 patients from the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Germany, tracking their progress between Feb 27 and Sep 10 last year. It found that, 30 days after a Covid diagnosis, 40.34 per cent of the UK cancer patients had died, with the figure standing at 26.5 per cent of the European patients. After six months, the proportion had risen to 47.6 per cent of the UK cohort compared to 33.3 per cent of the European. Scientists at Imperial College London pointed to disastrous guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which recommended pausing cancer treatment for many patients in order to stop them catching Covid in hospital.