Potential Of Low-Dose Radiation Therapy To Treat COVID-19

Low dose radiation is effective against viral pneumonia and hypothetically found to suppress the cytokine release syndrome. Low-dose radiation has several advantages as compared to the current drugs and medicines for COVID-19.

Several studies were proposed and conducted to study the impact of Low dose radiation therapy (LDRT) with a dose of 300 mGy or less on systemic immune function and anti-inflammation to treat COVID-19. The reports cover a wide range of patient conditions and LDR treatment strategies. LDRT protects COVID-19 patients from SARS-CoV-2 induced cytotoxicity by NRF2 activation and enhances the antioxidant activities.

A recent study also stated that LDR can stimulate stem cells and improve the potential stem cell therapies for COVID-19. Many clinical trials are being registered for studying the response of LDRT in COVID-19 patients. The completed clinical trials on the effect of LDRT on COVID-19 patients show that LDRT was 90% effective in treating COVID-19 patients.

The primary and secondary outcomes of the clinical trial investigation found that LDRT can be considered as a feasible treatment to improve the mortality of COVID-19 patients. Further studies are needed to assess the dose level of LDRT for the COVID-19 patients. Also, the safety of this dose when used for long-term therapy needs to be addressed. Although more than 10 clinical trials have been conducted to study the role of LDRT in COVID-19 patients, most of these studies were carried out among small participant numbers (1-10) and results were complicated by other treatments such as remdesivir and dexamethasone.

Further studies are needed to be conducted among the optimal patient population for considering LDRT in the treatment of COVID-19.

Source: Radiation Medicine & Protection



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