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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mitigating Coronavirus-Induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome by Radiotherapy.

  • Author(s): Li, Jian Jian
  • et al.

The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) induced by SARS-CoV-2-mediated cytokine storm (CS) in lungs leads to the high mortality in COVID-19 patients. To reduce ARDS, an ideal approach is to diminish virus loading by activating immune cells for CS prevention or to suppress the overactive cytokine-releasing immune cells for CS inhibition. Here, a potential radiation-mediated CS regulation is raised by reevaluating the radiation-mediated pneumonia control in the 1920s, with the following latent advantages of lung radiotherapy (LR) in treatment of COVID-19: (1) radiation accesses poorly circulated tissue more efficiently than blood-delivered medications; (2) low-dose radiation (LDR)-mediated metabolic rewiring and immune cell activation inhibit virus loading; (3) pre-consumption of immune reserves by LDR decreases CS severity; (4) higherdose radiation (HDR) within lung-tolerable doses relieves CS by eliminating in situ overactive cytokine-releasing cells. Thus, LDR and HDR or combined with antiviral and life-supporting modalities may mitigate SARS-CoV-2 and other virus-mediated ARDS.

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