The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiotherapy in Japan: nationwide surveys from May 2020 through June 2021

Keisuke Tamari, Yasushi Nagata, Takashi Mizowaki, Takeshi Kodaira, Hiroshi Onishi, Kazuhiko Ogawa, Yoshiyuki Shioyama, Naoyuki Shigematsu, Takashi Uno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A longitudinal online questionnaire survey on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the operation of radiotherapy departments in Japan was conducted. Approximately 26.1-70.9% of the radiotherapy departments participated, and their responses were collected in May, July and November 2020, and February and June 2021. The survey results revealed that while the number of patients receiving radiotherapy decreased in 41.2% and 30.7% of institutions in May 2020 and June 2021, respectively, it increased in 4% and 16.8% of institutions in May 2020 and June 2021, respectively. There were a few institutions limiting or postponing patient treatments in June 2021. The hypofractionated regimen was used more during the pandemic than during the pre-pandemic period, particularly for the treatment of breast and prostate cancers as well as for palliation. Infection control measures for patients and staff were followed. Approximately 20% of the respondent institutions had cases of patients with COVID-19 infection receiving radiotherapy. Most institutions encountered challenges in the continuous provision of radiotherapy for patients with COVID-19. In conclusion, COVID-19 had a multifaceted impact on the operations of radiotherapy departments in Japan. Further follow-up and analysis are warranted to understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of radiation research
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 20

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • hypofractionation
  • questionnaire
  • radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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