HBO2 may produce great benefits to radiation necrosis populations

     Radiation tissues injury (radiation necrosis) is a "side effect" of radiation therapy for a tumor and can develop months or years after treatment with radiation. Especially in the irradiated area, destruction of nutrient blood vessels can result in local ulceration, destruction of bone and bleeding. This damage inhibits the ability of the irradiated tissue to repair itself, and a radiation necrosis wound can gradually affect and involve surrounding tissue. Affected patients may become socially isolated and are suffered from depression, or nutritional deficiency.
     Medical treatment of radiation necrosis mainly includes topical wound care and surgical repair, however, these treatment are technically difficult and meet with common failure. As the novel treatment, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) is considered as a treatment to repair radiation induced vascular changes and delay radiation injuries via regulating the underlying mechanism of tissue damage. The studies about the mechanism have been carried out by some investigators. The results suggest that HBO2 can control oxygen gradient between the damaged cells and the surrounding normal tissue and thus stimulate angiogenesis. Also, it can mobilize stem cells from bone marrow to increase levels of vascular endothelial growth factor. Clinically, it is observed that among women suffering from radiation injuries from treatment for gynecologic malignancies, the response rate to HBO2 is of the order of 70% and the patients show fewer side effects from pelvic radiation[1].
     In summary, HBO2 shows an potent effect for lrti caused by treatment with radiation, such as in gynecologic malignancies. Thus, HBO2 may produce great benefits to lrti populations, particularly those patients for whom conservative care has failed.
[1]. Current Oncology. 2011; 18:220-227.

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