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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat late toxicities due to radiotherapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat late toxicities due to radiotherapyHyperbaric Oxygen Therapy consists of breathing pure oxygen inside a hyperbaricchamber, this is in a special device in which the pressure is increased, in this way, it ispossible to raise the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry in our body. Its use hasbeen proven for several conditions, such as non-healing wounds, decompressionsickness and radiation injuries.

Lately, this therapy represents a major modality of interest to many radiation oncologistsbecause it offers hope in the attempt to treat some of the chronic adverse effects ofradiation therapy.

A recent clinical trial in the Netherlands involved 189 women with moderate to severebreast, chest wall and/or shoulder pain in combination with edema, fibrosis and restrictionof movement 12 months or more after breast irradiation.

A subgroup of 31 patients completed therapy, received 30 to 40 sessions of HyperbaricOxygen Therapy over a period of 6 to 8 consecutive weeks. In this group,a significantreduction in pain and fibrosis was observed. However, there was no significant differencein breast edema and movement restriction.

In conclusion, the study allowed to demonstrate that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helpsto decrease local late toxic effects of radiation, such as fibrosis and pain, in women whohave received adjuvant radiotherapy for breast cancer.


:Hahn E, Popovtzer A, Corn BW. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Management of LateRadiation Toxicity—A Honey of a Trial? JAMA Oncol. February 08, 2024.doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.6698.

Mink van der Molen DR, Batenburg MCT, Maarse W, et al.Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapyand Late Local Toxic Effects in Patients With Irradiated Breast Cancer: A RandomizedClinical Trial.JAMA Oncol. February 08, 2024. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.6776.


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