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3.
In Vivo ; 34(6): 3731-3734, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910224

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: In 2020, because of coronavirus pandemic, medical activities changed. The aim of this report is to compare the volumes of Pisa radiotherapy activities from March 9th to May 31st, 2020, with the same period in 2019. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed the activity of our Unit to evaluate how logistics changes, related to the COVID-19 epidemic, impacted on volumes of radiotherapy (RT) activity and on the number of cases of COVID-19 infections observed in healthcare professionals and patients. RESULTS: The total number of first-time visits between March-May 2020 was reduced by 18%, probably due to delays in diagnosis and histological tests as well as the temporary closure of the operating rooms. None of the healthcare professionals and only two patients contracted the infection. CONCLUSION: We were able to treat all patients referred to our hospital and we were able to reduce risk of infection for both our patients and healthcare staff, guaranteeing continuum of care for our oncological patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Radiat Res ; 194(5): 452-464, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-845683

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Radiation Dosage , Animals , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Pandemics , Radiotherapy Dosage , Risk
5.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(8): e21265, 2020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-836109

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To avoid misuse of personal protective equipment (PPE), ensure health care workers' safety, and avoid shortages, effective communication of up-to-date infection control guidelines is essential. As prehospital teams are particularly at risk of contamination given their challenging work environment, a specific gamified electronic learning (e-learning) module targeting this audience might provide significant advantages as it requires neither the presence of learners nor the repetitive use of equipment for demonstration. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a gamified e-learning module could improve the rate of adequate PPE choice by prehospital personnel in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: This was an individual-level randomized, controlled, quadruple-blind (investigators, participants, outcome assessors, and data analysts) closed web-based trial. All emergency prehospital personnel working in Geneva, Switzerland, were eligible for inclusion, and were invited to participate by email in April 2020. Participants were informed that the study aim was to assess their knowledge regarding PPE, and that they would be presented with both the guidelines and the e-learning module, though they were unaware that there were two different study paths. All participants first answered a preintervention quiz designed to establish their profile and baseline knowledge. The control group then accessed the guidelines before answering a second set of questions, and were then granted access to the e-learning module. The e-learning group was shown the e-learning module right after the guidelines and before answering the second set of questions. RESULTS: Of the 291 randomized participants, 176 (60.5%) completed the trial. There was no significant difference in baseline knowledge between groups. Though the baseline proportion of adequate PPE choice was high (75%, IQR 50%-75%), participants' description of the donning sequence was in most cases incorrect. After either intervention, adequate choice of PPE increased significantly in both groups (P<.001). Though the median of the difference in the proportion of correct answers was slightly higher in the e-learning group (17%, IQR 8%-33% versus 8%, IQR 8%-33%), the difference was not statistically significant (P=.27). Confidence in the ability to use PPE was maintained in the e-learning group (P=.27) but significantly decreased in the control group (P=.04). CONCLUSIONS: Among prehospital personnel with an already relatively high knowledge of and experience with PPE use, both web-based study paths increased the rate of adequate choice of PPE. There was no major added value of the gamified e-learning module apart from preserving participants' confidence in their ability to correctly use PPE.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel/standards , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Telemedicine/methods , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Female , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Am J Case Rep ; 21: e926779, 2020 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-736892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with lung inflammation and cytokine storm. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) is a safe, non-invasive therapy with significant anti-inflammatory effects. Adjunct PBMT has been employed in treating patients with lung conditions. Human studies and experimental models of respiratory disease suggest PBMT reduces inflammation and promotes lung healing. This is the first time supportive PBMT was used in a severe case of COVID-19 pneumonia. CASE REPORT A 57-year-old African American man with severe COVID-19 received 4 once-daily PBMT sessions by a laser scanner with pulsed 808 nm and super-pulsed 905 nm modes for 28 min. The patient was evaluated before and after treatment via radiological assessment of lung edema (RALE) by CXR, pulmonary severity indices, blood tests, oxygen requirements, and patient questionnaires. Oxygen saturation (SpO2) increased from 93-94% to 97-100%, while the oxygen requirement decreased from 2-4 L/min to 1 L/min. The RALE score improved from 8 to 5. The Pneumonia Severity Index improved from Class V (142) to Class II (67). Additional pulmonary indices (Brescia-COVID and SMART-COP) both decreased from 4 to 0. CRP normalized from 15.1 to 1.23. The patient reported substantial improvement in the Community-Acquired Pneumonia assessment tool. CONCLUSIONS This report has presented supportive PBMT in a patient with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Respiratory indices, radiological findings, oxygen requirements, and patient outcomes improved over several days and without need for a ventilator. Future controlled clinical trials are required to evaluate the effects of PBMT on clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
African Americans , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Low-Level Light Therapy/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , United States/epidemiology
9.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 10285, 2020 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617064

ABSTRACT

A direct approach to limit airborne viral transmissions is to inactivate them within a short time of their production. Germicidal ultraviolet light, typically at 254 nm, is effective in this context but, used directly, can be a health hazard to skin and eyes. By contrast, far-UVC light (207-222 nm) efficiently kills pathogens potentially without harm to exposed human tissues. We previously demonstrated that 222-nm far-UVC light efficiently kills airborne influenza virus and we extend those studies to explore far-UVC efficacy against airborne human coronaviruses alpha HCoV-229E and beta HCoV-OC43. Low doses of 1.7 and 1.2 mJ/cm2 inactivated 99.9% of aerosolized coronavirus 229E and OC43, respectively. As all human coronaviruses have similar genomic sizes, far-UVC light would be expected to show similar inactivation efficiency against other human coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Based on the beta-HCoV-OC43 results, continuous far-UVC exposure in occupied public locations at the current regulatory exposure limit (~3 mJ/cm2/hour) would result in ~90% viral inactivation in ~8 minutes, 95% in ~11 minutes, 99% in ~16 minutes and 99.9% inactivation in ~25 minutes. Thus while staying within current regulatory dose limits, low-dose-rate far-UVC exposure can potentially safely provide a major reduction in the ambient level of airborne coronaviruses in occupied public locations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/radiation effects , Disinfection/methods , Ultraviolet Rays/adverse effects , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus 229E, Human/radiation effects , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Coronavirus OC43, Human/radiation effects , Humans , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/radiation effects , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , SARS Virus/radiation effects , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Lung Cancer ; 146: 230-235, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-616484

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has spread around the planet, sending billions of people into lockdown as health services struggle to cope. Meanwhile in Asia, where the disease began, the spread continues, in China it seems for now to have passed its peak. Italy, Spain, France, UK, and the US have been the countries more affected in terms of deaths. The coronavirus is more dangerous to the elderly and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions which is precisely the profile of lung cancer patients. Essential cancer services should be delivered but all steps should be taken to protect patients and the health workforce from infection with COVID-19. This presents a major challenge to radiotherapy (RT) departments worldwide. An international panel with expertise in the management of lung cancer in high-volume comprehensive centres has come together to share its experience on COVID-19 preparedness to deliver optimal care in such exceptional circumstances. A comprehensive systematic review of the literature through a PubMed search was undertaken. Twelve recommendations including, among others, the consideration of shorter courses, delays, and the omission of RT for lung cancer are proposed by the panel. In summary, we recommend the screening of every single person accessing the treatment room, the consideration of hypofractionation and to delay postoperative RT for non-small cell lung cancer, to avoid twice-daily treatments and delay or deliver prophylactic cranial irradiation during radio(chemo)therapy for limited-stage small cell lung cancer, review image guided RT images for suspicious image findings, and the use of single-fraction RT for the palliative treatment of stage IV lung cancer patients. Given that lung cancer is one of the most common and severe pathologies in radiation oncology departments, the following recommendations require particularly urgent consideration. The decision-making paths strongly depend on locally available resources, and a tailored approach should be used to attend lung cancer patients during this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/radiotherapy , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Small Cell Lung Carcinoma/radiotherapy , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/complications , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/virology , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dose Fractionation, Radiation , France/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Palliative Care/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Small Cell Lung Carcinoma/complications , Small Cell Lung Carcinoma/epidemiology , Small Cell Lung Carcinoma/virology , Spain/epidemiology
11.
Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg ; 38(7): 395-397, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-613725

ABSTRACT

Objective: To evaluate the hypothesis that light could reduce the lethality of COVID-19. Methods: Most models for projections of the spread and lethality of COVID-19 take into account the ambient temperature, neglecting light. Recent advances in understanding the mechanism of action of COVID-19 have shown that it causes a systemic infection that significantly affects the hematopoietic system and hemostasis, factors extremely dependent of light, mainly in the region of visible and infrared radiation. Results: In the COVID-19 patients hemoglobin is decreasing and protoporphyrin is increasing, generating an extremely harmful accumulation of iron ions in the bloodstream, which are able to induce an intense inflammatory process in the body with a consequent increase in C-reactive protein and albumin. Observing the unsaturation characteristics of the cyclic porphyrin ring allows it to absorb and emit radiation mainly in the visible region. This characteristic can represent an important differential to change this process in the event of an imbalance in this system, through the photobiomodulation to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) using red and near-infrared radiation (R-NIR) and vitamin D using ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. These two compounds have the primary role of activating the defense mechanisms of the immune system, enabling greater resistance of the individual against the attack by the virus. According to the theory of electron excitation in photosensitive molecules, similar to hemoglobin heme, after the photon absorption there would be an increase in the stability of the iron ion bond with the center of the pyrrole ring, preventing the losses of heme function oxygen transport (HbO2). The light is also absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase in the R-NIR region, with a consequent increase in electron transport, regulating enzyme activity and resulting in a significant increase of oxygen rate consumption by mitochondria, increasing ATP production. Conclusions: The most favorable range of optical radiation to operate in this system is between R-NIR region, in which cytochrome c oxidase and porphyrin present absorption peaks centered at 640 nm and HbO2 with absorption peak centered at 900 nm. Based on the mechanisms described earlier, our hypothesis is that light could reduce the lethality of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Low-Level Light Therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Ultraviolet Therapy , COVID-19 , Humans , Infrared Rays/therapeutic use , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultraviolet Rays
12.
Int J Radiat Biol ; 96(10): 1228-1235, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612887

ABSTRACT

Since early April 2020, there has been intense debate over proposed clinical use of ionizing radiation to treat life-threatening pneumonia in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. At least twelve relevant papers appeared by 20 May 2020. The radiation dose proposed for clinical trials are a single dose (0.1-1 Gy) or two doses (a few mGy followed by 0.1-0.25 Gy involving a putative adaptive response, or 1-1.5 Gy in two fractions 2-3 days apart). The scientific rationale for such proposed so-called low dose radiotherapy (LDRT) is twofold (note that only doses below 0.1 Gy are considered as low doses in the field of radiation protection, but here we follow the term as conventionally used in the field of radiation oncology). Firstly, the potentially positive observations in human case series and biological studies in rodent models on viral or bacterial pneumonia that were conducted in the pre-antibiotic era. Secondly, the potential anti-inflammatory properties of LDRT, which have been seen when LDRT is applied locally to subacute degenerative joint diseases, mainly in Germany. However, the human and animal studies cited as supportive evidence have significant limitations, and whether LDRT produces anti-inflammatory effects in the inflamed lung or exacerbates ongoing COVID-19 damage remains unclear. Therefore, we conclude that the available scientific evidence does not justify clinical trials of LDRT for COVID-19 pneumonia, with unknown benefit and known mortality risks from radiogenic cancer and circulatory disease. Despite the significant uncertainties in these proposals, some clinical trials are ongoing and planned. This paper gives an overview of current situations surrounding LDRT for COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Animals , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Pandemics , Radiotherapy Dosage , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Strahlenther Onkol ; 196(8): 679-682, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-209949

ABSTRACT

In the current dismal situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective management of patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome is of vital importance. Due to the current lack of effective pharmacological concepts, this situation has caused interest in (re)considering historical reports on the treatment of patients with low-dose radiation therapy for pneumonia. Although these historical reports are of low-level evidence per se, hampering recommendations for decision-making in the clinical setting, they indicate effectiveness in the dose range between 0.3 and 1 Gy, similar to more recent dose concepts in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory/degenerative benign diseases with, e.g., a single dose per fraction of 0.5 Gy. This concise review aims to critically review the evidence for low-dose radiation treatment of COVID-19 pneumopathy and discuss whether it is worth investigating in the present clinical situation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/radiotherapy , COVID-19 , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Pandemics , Radiotherapy Dosage , Treatment Outcome
17.
Radiother Oncol ; 147: 212-216, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-209757

ABSTRACT

The new coronavirus COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was declared a global public health emergency by WHO on Jan 30, 2020. Despite massive efforts from various governmental, health and medical organizations, the disease continues to spread globally with increasing fatality rates. Several experimental drugs have been approved by FDA with unknown efficacy and potential adverse effects. The exponentially spreading pandemic of COVID-19 deserves prime public health attention to evaluate yet unexplored arenas of management. We opine that one of these treatment options is low dose radiation therapy for severe and most critical cases. There is evidence in literature that low dose radiation induces an anti-inflammatory phenotype that can potentially afford therapeutic benefit against COVID-19-related complications that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Herein, we review the effects and putative mechanisms of low dose radiation that may be viable, useful and of value in counter-acting the acute inflammatory state induced by critical stage COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/radiotherapy , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Nuklearmedizin ; 59(4): 294-299, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197118

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Preparations of health systems to accommodate large number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in March/April 2020 has a significant impact on nuclear medicine departments. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A web-based questionnaire was designed to differentiate the impact of the pandemic on inpatient and outpatient nuclear medicine operations and on public versus private health systems, respectively. Questions were addressing the following issues: impact on nuclear medicine diagnostics and therapy, use of recommendations, personal protective equipment, and organizational adaptations. The survey was available for 6 days and closed on April 20, 2020. RESULTS: 113 complete responses were recorded. Nearly all participants (97 %) report a decline of nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures. The mean reduction in the last three weeks for PET/CT, scintigraphies of bone, myocardium, lung thyroid, sentinel lymph-node are -14.4 %, -47.2 %, -47.5 %, -40.7 %, -58.4 %, and -25.2 % respectively. Furthermore, 76 % of the participants report a reduction in therapies especially for benign thyroid disease (-41.8 %) and radiosynoviorthesis (-53.8 %) while tumor therapies remained mainly stable. 48 % of the participants report a shortage of personal protective equipment. CONCLUSIONS: Nuclear medicine services are notably reduced 3 weeks after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic reached Germany, Austria and Switzerland on a large scale. We must be aware that the current crisis will also have a significant economic impact on the healthcare system. As the survey cannot adapt to daily dynamic changes in priorities, it serves as a first snapshot requiring follow-up studies and comparisons with other countries and regions.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Nuclear Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Austria , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Germany , Humans , Nuclear Medicine/instrumentation , Nuclear Medicine/organization & administration , Outpatients , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , Switzerland
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