Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on delivery of pediatric radiotherapy: A critical review

Naba Ali, Mithra Ghalibafian, Katherine Sykes-Martin, Jeannette Parkes, Bilal Qureshi, Natia Esiashvili

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the timely diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including pediatric cancer. Its impact on pediatric oncologic treatments warrants investigation. As radiotherapy is an integral component of cancer care, we reviewed the published data regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of pediatric radiotherapy to inform actions for future global events. We found that disruptions in radiotherapy were reported amongst interruptions in other therapies. Disruptions were more common in low-income countries (78%) and low middle-income countries (68%) compared with upper middle-income countries (46%) and high-income countries (10%). Several papers included recommendations for mitigation strategies. Altered treatment regimens were common, including increasing the use of active surveillance and systemic therapy to delay local therapies, and accelerated/hypofractionated dose delivery. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 has impacted radiotherapy delivery in the pediatric population globally. Countries with limited resources may be more affected. Various mitigation strategies have been developed. The efficacy of mitigation measures warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere30446
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • COVID-19
  • global health
  • pandemic
  • pediatric oncology
  • radiation oncology
  • radiotherapy


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