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Noori S Al-Waili, Glenn J. Butler, Jorge Beale, Roger W. Hamilton, Bok Y. Lee, Paul Lucas
Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(9): RA279-289
Over the past 40 years, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO(2)) therapy has been recommendedand used in a wide variety of medical conditions. In the 1950s, HBO(2) was first used as a treatment,in addition to radiation, for head and neck cancers and cervical cancer. Many studies have been conductedto investigate possible therapeutic effects HBO(2) as part of cancer management. Evidences showed thatHBO(2) improved tumor oxygenation, and treatment with HBO(2) during irradiation has been shown to improvethe radiation response of many solid tumors. It was used for delayed radiation injuries for soft tissueand bony injuries, for symptomatic radiation reactions of the urinary bladder and the bowel, for laryngealradionecrosis, for radiation-induced optic neuropathy, for radiation-induced proctitis and for radiation-inducednecrosis of the brain. HBO(2) also increases sensitivity to chemotherapy. A significant improvement intumor response was obtained when photodynamic therapy (PDT) was delivered during hyperoxygenation. Thesestudies were extensively reviewed and rational scientific basis for further investigations was discussed.The possibility of combining HBO(2), PDT and photosezitizers to overcome primary and secondary carcinomadeserve extensive laboratory and clinical research works. HBO(2) is a relatively benign with few contraindications,even for active cancer patients.