Bennett MH, Feldmeier J, Hampson N, Smee R, Milross C. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD005005.
Cancer is a significant global health problem. Radiotherapy is a treatment for many cancers and about 50% of patients having radiotherapy with be long-term survivors. Some will experience late radiation tissue injury (LRTI) developing months or years later. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been suggested as a treatment for LRTI based upon the ability to improve the blood supply to these tissues. It is postulated that HBOT may result in both healing of tissues and the prevention of problems following surgery.
We found some evidence that LRTI affecting the head, neck and lower end of the bowel can be improved with HBOT. There is little evidence for or against benefit in other tissues affected by LRTI. Our conclusions are based on eight randomised trials with a limited number of patients. Further research is needed.
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