Low-Dose Radiation Therapy (LDRT) for COVID-19: Benefits or Risks?

Pataje G. Prasanna, Gayle E. Woloschak, Andrea L. DiCarlo, Jeffrey C. Buchsbaum, Dörthe Schaue, Arnab Chakravarti, Francis A. Cucinotta, Silvia C. Formenti, Chandan Guha, Dale J. Hu, Mohammad K. Khan, David G. Kirsch, Sunil Krishnan, Wolfgang W. Leitner, Brian Marples, William McBride, Minesh P. Mehta, Shahin Rafii, Elad Sharon, Julie M. SullivanRalph R. Weichselbaum, Mansoor M. Ahmed, Bhadrasain Vikram, C. Norman Coleman, Kathryn D. Held

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The limited impact of treatments for COVID-19 has stimulated several phase 1 clinical trials of whole-lung low-dose radiation therapy (LDRT; 0.3-1.5 Gy) that are now progressing to phase 2 randomized trials worldwide. This novel but unconventional use of radiation to treat COVID-19 prompted the National Cancer Institute, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to convene a workshop involving a diverse group of experts in radiation oncology, radiobiology, virology, immunology, radiation protection and public health policy. The workshop was held to discuss the mechanistic underpinnings, rationale, and preclinical and emerging clinical studies, and to develop a general framework for use in clinical studies. Without refuting or endorsing LDRT as a treatment for COVID-19, the purpose of the workshop and this review is to provide guidance to clinicians and researchers who plan to conduct preclinical and clinical studies, given the limited available evidence on its safety and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-464
Number of pages13
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 10 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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