Hyperbaric medicine was originally used in oncology to treat radiation injury. Originally there was concern that oxygen would promote tumor growth, however this was disproven. Feldmeier et al were the first to address that tumours respond differently to oxygen than healthy cells do, and there is no concern that oxygen can promote tumour growth.
Hyperbaric oxygen affects tumours in the following way:
- Production of oxidative stress
- Inhibiting angiogenesis
- Inhibition of oncogenes
- Inhibition of Hypoxia inducible factor-1
Research is now supporting the use of hyperbaric medicine as part of integrative cancer care. Koshi et al (1999) showed that hyperbaric oxygen acted as a radiosensitizer on malignant gliomas. Moen and Stuhr (2012) discussed that research has shown HBOT to have an antiangiogenic effect, decrease risk of metastasis, and decrease resistance to chemotherapy. Additionally Daruwalla et al (2006) showed that tumours thrive in low-oxygen environments and that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can break down some of the mechanisms cancerous cells need to survive.
Dr. Jennifer Nardella, Naturopath uses naturopathic, hyperbaric and integrative medicine to provide effective naturopathic oncology care to patients. To learn if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is appropriate for you or someone you know contact our naturopath clinic in Calgary to set up a naturopathic oncology consultation.