Developing consensus guidelines on radiotherapy use during Covid-19 to reduce hospital attendances and risk of Covid infection to lung cancer patients

Impact: Health and wellbeing


During the COVID pandemic, Professor Faivre-Finn led national guidelines, which were endorsed by the Royal College of Radiologists. These aimed to reduce the number of hospital attendances and potential exposure of vulnerable lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Recommendations published within weeks of the first UK lockdown, exploited Manchester’s extensive experience in giving shorter radiotherapy schedules with larger doses per fraction. Our prospective national audits showed rapid adoption of changed patient management in line with the new guidelines (won best presentation prize at the British Thoracic Oncology Group conference).

Subsequently, Professor Faivre-Finn led a study (COVID-RT Lung) to investigate the impact of the changes that took place in the management of patients with stage 1-3 lung cancer from April to October 2020 (BRC funded).  >1600 cases were collected from ~40 centres.  The results were presented at the NCRI (National Cancer Research Institute) and ESTRO (European Society Radiation Oncology) 2021 meetings and results published in Clinical Oncology 2021. They confirmed that in the UK, patient treatment changed in during the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with the national guidelines.

Professor Faivre-Finn also contributed to international practice recommendations for lung cancer radiotherapy during the Covid-19 pandemic issued by ESTRO-ASTRO. (European Society Radiation Oncology - American Society for Radiation Oncology).
Impact dateAug 2020
Category of impactHealth and wellbeing
Impact levelBenefit

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cancer
  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre