AIIMS to conduct pilot study on radiation therapy on COVID-19 patients
New Delhi : The AIIMS will be conducting a pilot study to learn how coronavirus infected patients react to low dose radiation therapy in alleviating symptoms of pneumonia.
Dr D N Sharma, head of the Radiation Oncology department at AIIMS and the principal investigator of the research project, told PTI that two Covid-19 patients who were on oxygen support were given the therapy last Saturday and their condition has improved since then.
“Both the patients, aged above 50, who are admitted at the National Cancer Institute, AIIMS, Jhajjar Centre are off the oxygen support now,” Dr Sharma said.
“Radiation therapy usually is given in high doses for cancer treatment but in this case we are giving a safe low dose of radiation at 70 cGy in one sitting to the patient,” he elaborated.
Interestingly, the entire therapy time is between 15 to 20 minutes and has shown no side effects so far.
According to Sharma, this treatment mode was used till 1940s for treating pneumonia when there were no antibiotics.
Under the pilot project, eight more patients will undergo the therapy after which the data of the results will be analysed.
If results from the therapy are found effective in COVID-19 treatment in moderate to severe cases, the research project would be expanded further. “Similar studies are being conducted in the US, Spain and Italy also,” Sharma said.