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Radiother Oncol. 2001 Nov;61(2):151-6.

Hyperbaric oxygen--an effective tool to treat radiation morbidity in prostate cancer.

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Department of Radiotherapy, University Medical School of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 32, A-8036 Graz, Austria.



We report the results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) used in the treatment of radiation cystitis and proctitis following irradiation of prostate cancer.


Between June 1995 and March 2000, 18 men (median age 71 years) with radiation proctitis (n=7), cystitis (n=8), and combined proctitis/cystitis (n=3) underwent HBO therapy in a multiplace chamber for a median of 26 sessions (range 2-60). The treatment schedule (2.2-2.4 atmospheres absolute, 60 min bottom time, once-a-day, 7 days a week) was set at a lower limit of 20 sessions; the upper limit was left open to symptom-related adjustment. Prior to HBO treatment, RTOG/EORTC late genitourinal (GU) morbidity was Grade 2 (n=3), Grade 3 (n=6) or Grade 4 (n=2); modified RTOG/EORTC late gastrointestinal (GI) morbidity was either Grade 2 (n=4) or Grade 3 (n=6).


Sixteen patients underwent an adequate number of sessions. RTOG/EORTC late GU as well as modified GI morbidity scores showed a significant improvement after HBO (GI, P=0.004; GU, P=0.004; exact Wilcoxon signed rank test); bleeding ceased in five out of five patients with proctitis and in six out of eight patients with cystitis; one of those two patients, in whom an ineffective treatment outcome was obtained, went on to have a cystectomy.


HBO treatment seems to be an effective tool to treat those patients with late GI and GU morbidity when conventional treatment has led to unsatisfactory results. Particularly in patients with radiation cystitis, HBO should not be delayed too long, as in the case of extensive bladder shrinkage improvement is hard to achieve.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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