A group of physicians in Israel are set to give lung radiation to coronavirus patients in a 30-person trial.
Sheba doctors believe that targeted radiation on the lungs may slow inflammation there, and prevent or reduce the effects of the pneumonia that causes many coronavirus deaths. Within days, they will start radiation therapy on the first patients.
“Low-dose radiation is extremely effective in reducing the types of inflammatory cells that invade the lungs of coronavirus patients, prevent them from oxygenating the blood, and cause failure of the systems and possibly death, and I’m hopeful that this will save lives,” Zvi Symon, the director of Sheba’s Radiation Oncology Department and the doctor behind the trial, told The Times of Israel.
“These doses won’t kill the virus itself or change the viral replication rate in the body in any way, but we anticipate they will reduce the severe inflammation in the lung that it induces and it’s this inflammation that causes patients to die from inflammatory failure,” he stressed.
“We have already seen that in animal models low-dose radiation has a broad range of anti-inflammatory effects,” Symon added.