• Side Effects of Chemo and Radiation reduced by HBOT

Originally Posted – Sunday, April 8, 2012  : :  

The problem with many cancers (such as RMS) is that they usually do not cause pain or symptoms until they are in an advanced stage (Stage III & IV) and present urgent and radical response for the patient.

This small patient (pictured with Children’s Advocate Kelly LeBrock) had two stem-cell transplants. Unfortunately she developed a lethal response as described in the study below. Her Los Angeles M.D. oncology specialist refused to add hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an adjunct desspite the pleading of the parents. In most of the United States, if your child is under the age of 18, then the law allows a disagreeable M.D. to call Child Protective Services and you, as parent have no say. Would adding HBOT as an adjunct to the oncologists cocktail have saved her? A high possibility.

Standard oncology responses all have agonizing and potential downside risks.

The old saying of “burn the barn down to get rid of the mice” is apt!

“Secondary cancer: Perhaps the most devastating late complication of treatment for any type of cancer, not just RMS, is the development of a second form of cancer. The use of chemotherapy and radiation can cause second cancers to develop. Chemotherapy-associated secondary cancers are most commonly leukemias (typically Acute Myeloid Leukemia [AML]), and may be associated with the use of alkylating agents (cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide), and topoisomerase II inhibitors (etoposide and doxorubicin). The risk of secondary leukemia is, fortunately, quite low (generally between 1 and 2%). Radiation is also associated with the development of second cancers, most commonly other sarcomas (either in bone or soft tissue). At the doses of radiation that are currently used to treat children with RMS, the risk of secondary sarcomas is approximately 5% at 20 years (Ref. 82). Unlike the situation with secondary leukemias, which typically develop within four years of treatment, most cases of secondary sarcomas do not develop until 5+ years after the end of treatment (Ref. 82). The contribution of underlying “genetic risk factors” to the development of treatment-induced cancers is being actively investigated.

Kuttesch JF Jr, Wexler LH, Marcus RB, et al. Second malignancies after Ewing’s sarcoma: radiation dose-dependency of secondary sarcomas. Journal of Clinical Oncology 1996; 14:2818-2825.

Novel therapies are desperately needed for this group of patients.

. . . simultaneously, pilot clinical trials are also ongoing to evaluate the ability of a “genetically matched” sibling’s immune system to control a patient’s alveolar RMS tumor following a “mini”- allogeneic stem cell transplant.’

Downsides to stem cell transplants

Post-Transplant Complications

Bone Marrow Transplantation (2003) 32, 925–931. doi:10.1038/sj.bmt.1704252

“Hemorrhagic cystitis (HC) is a cause of morbidity and extended hospitalization after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Its incidence has been reported to range from 7 to 68%. HC is manifested in two forms: early-onset HC, which usually appears within 48–72 h following chemotherapy, and late-onset HC, which occurs during the first 2–3 months after HSCT.

Now the really good news from the same study . . .

The main finding emerging from our data was the superiority of HBOT over the other measures used to treat HC, although it was used in the most severe cases and introduced late, when supportive measures and PGE2 had already failed to control the disease.

HOT is extensively used where tissue damage is caused by hypoxic injury, for its capacity to stimulate angiogenesis and prompt healing.57 Radiation-induced and chemical HC are characterized by much the same mucosal damage, for example, progressive obliterative endoarteritis of small vessels, telangiectasia, ischemia, ulceration, bleeding and eventually fibrosis. The efficacy of HBOT in HC induced by pelvic irradiation has already been reported by several authors,22,23,24,25 but only anecdotal reports have analyzed the role of HBOT in HC after HSCT.25,58 The high cure rate (78.5%) obtained in our study, in patients refractory to other medical treatments, suggests that HBOT may play an important part in a conservative approach to HC in HSCT recipients too. Other potential advantages, such as a faster recovery from HC, the need for fewer transfusions and a shorter hospital stay should be addressed by future controlled trials.

In conclusion, this study confirms that HC is a relatively common complication, particularly after allogeneic HSCT, and that HBOT can successfully cure the most severe forms of HC and offer an advantage in terms of prognosis and potential sequelae.”

See the Study here


Sandsie’s comments . . .

This blog site is not soliciting donations other than to let you know what the latest science is relating to cancer for children and adults. If you feel your heart-strings tugged at some of these stories, then my recommendation is to go to the Lift Up Foundation’s web site and donate whatever you can. And, if your wondering . . . nope, I am not involved in fashion and the only benefit that I personally will get is to see a worthwhile and genuine charity supported.




  • What would your oncologist father advise if you told him that you had advanced Hodgkin’s Luekemia and that you would not have any chemo or radiation?
  • What were the results?