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Radiat Res. 1997 Jun;147(6):715-20.

Hyperbaric oxygen improves tumor radiation response significantly more than carbogen/nicotinamide.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


This laboratory previously demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen and hyperbaric carbogen improved oxygenation in the R3230Ac tumor, but normobaric 100% O2 and carbogen did not. The current study assessed tumor growth after exposure to radiation plus either hyperbaric oxygen, carbogen or carbogen/nicotinamide and the relationship between pretreatment tumor oxygenation and growth time. R3230Ac carcinomas were grown in the flanks of F344 rats. Animals were randomized to one of seven radiation treatment groups: sham irradiation or irradiation plus room air, hyperbaric oxygen (100% O2/3 atmospheres), nicotinamide (0.3 mg/g intraperitoneally 20 min before irradiation), carbogen, carbogen/nicotinamide or hyperbaric oxygen/nicotinamide. Tumors received 20 Gy in a single dose. Median growth times were 6, 18, 18, 20, 22, 28 and 27 days for controls and irradiation plus room air, carbogen, nicotinamide, carbogen/nicotinamide, hyperbaric oxygen and hyperbaric oxygen/nicotinamide, respectively. Irradiation with hyperbaric oxygen, hyperbaric oxygen/ nicotinamide and carbogen/nicotinamide increased growth time (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.003, respectively) relative to room air. Hyperbaric oxygen was significantly more effective than carbogen/nicotinamide (P = 0.001). Growth times for all tumors exposed to hyperbaric oxygen were longer than those of the most fully oxygenated tumors (no baseline pO2 values < 10 mm Hg) not exposed to hyperbaric oxygen (P < 0.001). These results suggest that hyperbaric oxygen may improve radiation response by additional mechanisms separate from overcoming the oxygen effect.

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