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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for the treatment of the late effects of radiotherapy

Bennett MH, Feldmeier J, Hampson N, Smee R, Milross C
Published Online: 
16 May 2012

There is a risk of serious complications developing after radiation treatment for cancer (late radiation tissue injury (LRTI). HBOT involves breathing oxygen in a specially designed chamber. It is used as a treatment to improve oxygen supply to damaged tissue and stimulate healing.

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 11 randomised trials with a limited number of patients. Further research is needed.

This record should be cited as: 
Bennett MH, Feldmeier J, Hampson N, Smee R, Milross C. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for late radiation tissue injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD005005. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005005.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
22 March 2012