Preprint of research, still awaiting peer review, based on the benefits of low-dose radiation
June 9 (EIRNS)—In late March, a nuclear scientist whose work on the health benefits of low dose radiation (LDR) had been published a number of times in 21st Century Science & Technology, sent a letter to several radiation oncologists, proposing the use of LDR against the pneumonia aspect of the COVID virus (based on past successful use of X-rays against intractable pneumonia). The letter went viral among researchers and doctors involved in radiation therapy!
Now, the first results have just come in from the work of a team of radiation oncologists and medical intensivists (critical care physicians) at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, in what was described by the University as a “highly innovative trial to treat COVID-19 patients with low dose chest radiation therapy (LDRT), with the goal of reducing the pulmonary inflammation that severely affects these patients and threatens their ability to breathe on their own.” The results are reported in an article posted June 8, 2020 on MedRxiv, entitled: Low-Dose Whole-Lung Radiation for COVID-19 Pneumonia: Planned Day-7 Interim Analysis of a Registered Clinical Trial.
The report of the results, we note, still awaits peer review. It indicates a very important potential. Note that MedRxiv describes itself as “a free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts (preprints) in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.)
The five eligible patients had already been hospitalized for COVID-19; their symptoms included radiographic pneumonic infiltrates (pus, blood, protein that shows up in X-rays); they required supplemental oxygen, and were clinically deteriorating. These five were treated with whole-lung low-dose radiation from April 23-28, 2020 and followed for 7 days. Their median age was 90 (range 64-94); four were nursing home residents with multiple comorbidities. Within 24 hours of radiation, three patients (60%) could be taken off supplemental oxygen, four (80%) exhibited radiographic improvement, and there was also improvement in the median Glasgow coma score [neurological scale] from 10 to 14. A fourth patient (80% overall recovery) was weaned from oxygen at hour 96. The mean time required for clinical recovery was 35 hours. There were no acute skin, pulmonary, GI, GU toxicities.
Conclusions: “In a pilot trial of five oxygen-dependent patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, low-dose whole-lung radiation led to rapid improvement in clinical status, encephalopathy, and radiographic infiltrates without acute toxicity. Low-dose whole-lung radiation is safe, shows early promise of efficacy, and warrants further study in larger prospective trials.”
No matter that the study has not yet been peer reviewed, and that the sample is small, thousands of excited tweets have gone out and been received by the researchers. Here is one tweet from a physician participating in the clinical trial: “This was not easy. We risked our livelihood. Our patients needed hope. Thank you for your kind words and empathy. It was the kind sentiments from people like you and others that kept us motivated.”
Clinical trials are ongoing or about to start in at least a half-dozen other countries, including Italy, Spain and South Africa.
The pioneers of hormesis are Jerry Cuttler and Ed Calabrese, who played a critical role in opening up research into the beneficial impact of low-dosed radiation.
For more on these topics, see:
INTERVIEW: DR. EDWARD CALABRESE
ARTICLES — JERRY M. CUTTLER, D. Sc.
The Signficant Health Benefits Of Nuclear Radiation, published in the Fall 2000 issue of 21st Century Science and Technology
Jerry M. Cuttler, D.Sc.
Low-dose Irradiation Therapy. Cures Gas Gangrene Infections. by Jerry M. Cuttler, D.Sc. Published in the Spring/Summer issue of 21st Century Science and Technology.