REVISITING THE ROLE OF LOW DOSE RADIATION THERAPY AGAINST COVID-19 PNEUMONIAAbstract
Background: The entire world is battling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that potentially leads to pneumonia, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), multi-organ failure, often resulting in death. Therefore, the utmost challenge from a medical perspective is to improve lung function before the patient requires intubation and critical care. In the same light, the use of low dose radiation therapy (LDRT) that has been used to treat various non-malignant inflammatory conditions can be exploited as a promising approach to combat ARDS in COVID-19 patients. LDRT is a century-old popular treatment of viral pneumonia that has been reported to reduce inflammation and prevent the cytokine storm, thus mitigating the severity of pneumonitis. Given the outcomes of pilot clinical studies, the administration of LDRT should be kept as an option in clinical situations where benefits outweigh the risks. Therefore, the present communication highlights the anti-inflammatory role of LDRT so as to revisit its prospective role in COVID-19 pneumonia treatment. Conclusions: In the COVID-19 pandemic, LDRT appears as a cost-efficient, potent, non-invasive, anti-inflammatory treatment option that can decrease the patient burden of the hospital set up and help in mitigating the life-threatening symptoms associated with COVID-19 pneumonitis, especially in patients who are at a progressive stage of infection and unfit for conventional anti-inflammatory treatments.