Clinician attitudes to using low dose radiotherapy to treat COVID-19 lung disease

Hanna, C. R. , Robb, K. A. , Blyth, K. G. , Jones, R. J. and Chalmers, A. J. (2021) Clinician attitudes to using low dose radiotherapy to treat COVID-19 lung disease. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 109(4), pp. 886-890. (doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.12.003) (PMID:33309910) (PMCID:PMC7726525)

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Introduction: Current treatments for COVID-19 lung disease have limited efficacy. Low dose radiotherapy (LDRT) has received both interest and criticism as a potential treatment for this condition. In this qualitative study we explored clinicians’ perspectives in order to identify barriers to testing LDRT in clinical trials and implementing it in clinical practice. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with six clinicians from three medical disciplines. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically, using a framework approach. Common themes regarding barriers to using LDRT for COVID-19 lung disease were identified from the data. Results: Three categories of barriers emerged: i) the potential to do harm to the patient, including difficulty in predicting harm and lack of existing data to inform quantification of risks; ii) the feasibility of trialling this novel treatment strategy in the clinical setting, in particular patient selection and buy-in from relevant clinician groups; and iii) the logistics of delivering the treatment, in particular risks of transmission to other patients and resources required for patient transfer. Conclusions: This study identified several barriers that may impede the evaluation and subsequent implementation of LDRT as a treatment for COVID-19 lung disease, from the perspectives of clinicians in three relevant specialties. By documenting and articulating these concerns, we hope to enhance discussion of why these barriers exist, and enable them to be addressed in a proactive manner in order to facilitate research into the potential benefits of radiation treatment for patients with COVID-19 lung disease.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Blyth, Professor Kevin and Robb, Professor Katie and Jones, Professor Robert and Hanna, Catherine and Chalmers, Professor Anthony
Authors: Hanna, C. R., Robb, K. A., Blyth, K. G., Jones, R. J., and Chalmers, A. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
ISSN (Online):1879-355X
Published Online:09 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 109(4): 886-890
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
174279CRUK CTU Glasgow - Clinical Trial FellowshipCatherine HannaCancer Research UK (CRUK)C61974/A24293Institute of Cancer Sciences