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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys ; 111(1): 233-239, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209500


PURPOSE: The respiratory disease COVID-19 reached global pandemic status in 2020. Excessive inflammation is believed to result in the most severe symptoms and death from this disease. Because treatment options for patients with severe COVID-19 related pulmonary symptoms remain limited, whole-lung low-dose radiation therapy is being evaluated as an anti-inflammatory modality. However, there is concern about the long-term risks associated with low-dose pulmonary irradiation. To help quantify the benefit-risk balance of low-dose radiation therapy for COVID-19, we estimated radiation-induced lifetime risks of both lung cancer and heart disease (major coronary events) for patients of different sexes, treated at ages 50 to 85, with and without other relevant risk factors (cigarette smoking and baseline heart disease risk). METHODS AND MATERIALS: These estimates were generated by combining state-of-the-art radiation risk models for lung cancer and for heart disease together with background lung cancer and heart disease risks and age/sex-dependent survival probabilities for the U.S. RESULTS: Estimated absolute radiation-induced risks were generally higher for lung cancer compared with major coronary events. The highest estimated lifetime radiation-induced lung cancer risks were approximately 6% for female smokers treated between ages 50 and 60. The highest estimated radiation-induced heart disease risks were approximately 3% for males or females with high heart disease risk factors and treated between ages 50 and 60. CONCLUSIONS: The estimated summed lifetime risk of lung cancer and major coronary events reached up to 9% in patients with high baseline risk factors. Predicted lung cancer and heart disease risks were lowest in older nonsmoking patients and patients with few cardiac risk factors. These long-term risk estimates, along with consideration of possible acute reactions, should be useful in assessing the benefit-risk balance for low-dose radiation therapy to treat severe COVID-19 pulmonary symptoms, and suggest that background risk factors, particularly smoking, should be taken into account in such assessments.

COVID-19/radiotherapy , Heart Diseases/etiology , Lung Neoplasms/etiology , Lung/radiation effects , Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced/etiology , Radiation Dosage , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Radiotherapy Dosage , Risk Factors
Ann Thorac Surg ; 112(1): 248-254, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-871748


BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led surgical societies to recommend delaying diagnosis and treatment of suspected lung cancer for lesions less than 2 cm. Delaying diagnosis can lead to disease progression, but the impact of this delay on mortality is unknown. The COVID-19 infection rate at which immediate operative risk exceeds benefit is unknown. We sought to model immediate versus delayed surgical resection in a suspicious lung nodule less than 2 cm. METHODS: A decision analysis model was developed, and sensitivity analyses performed. The base case was a 65-year-old male smoker with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease presenting for surgical biopsy of a 1.5 to 2 cm lung nodule highly suspicious for cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. We compared immediate surgical resection to delayed resection after 3 months. The likelihood of key outcomes was derived from the literature where available. The outcome was 5-year overall survival. RESULTS: Immediate surgical resection resulted in a similar but slightly higher 5-year overall survival when compared with delayed resection (0.77 versus 0.74) owing to the risk of disease progression. However, if the probability of acquired COVID-19 infection is greater than 13%, delayed resection is favorable (0.74 vs 0.73). CONCLUSIONS: Immediate surgical biopsy of lung nodules suspicious for cancer in hospitals with low COVID-19 prevalence likely results in improved 5-year survival. However, as the risk of perioperative COVID-19 infection increases above 13%, a delayed approach has similar or improved survival. This balance should be frequently reexamined at each health care facility throughout the curve of the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/surgery , Delayed Diagnosis/mortality , Lung Neoplasms/surgery , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Biopsy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/etiology , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/mortality , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/pathology , Computer Simulation , Decision Support Techniques , Delayed Diagnosis/adverse effects , Disease Progression , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/etiology , Lung Neoplasms/mortality , Lung Neoplasms/pathology , Male , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/etiology , Risk , Smoking/adverse effects , Time Factors
Med Hypotheses ; 143: 110074, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625625


The morbidity and mortality of lung cancer are increasing. The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV-2, leading to subsequent pulmonary interstitial fibrosis with chronic inflammatory changes, e.g., inflammatory factors repeatedly continuously stimulating and attacking the alveolar epithelial cells. Meanwhile, 2019-nCoV-2 can activate PI3K/Akt and ERK signaling pathways, which can play the double roles as both anti-inflammatory and carcinogenic factors. Moreover, hypoxemia may be developed, resulting in the up-regulation of HIF-1 α expression, which can be involved in the occurrence, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis of lung cancer. Additionally, the immune system in 2019-nCoV-2 infected cases can be suppressed to cause tumor immune evasion. Therefore, we speculate that COVID-19 may be a risk factor of secondary lung cancer.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Lung Injury/complications , Lung Neoplasms/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Hypoxia/complications , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Tumor Escape