Info on Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy

This is the response from Pancan, which is not overly helpful (but it is a start and so far does nothing to kick this adjunct to chemo and radiation therapy to the door) and one or two of her links or citations are articles I have already read.  The last one on the pancreatic cancer which I did not read yet (I will shortly) was done in a laboratory, so they were either using tissue samples, or lab animals. I read the article...tissue samples... I copied the abstract at the bottom of this post... I don't understand the statistics, but their conclusion is that if you do the chemo while in the chamber, it significantly enhances the apoptosis (death of) the cancer cells.

I also did not look at the link on the trial being conducted. Well, aren't I just a wealth of information here, huh? I will, but you can as well.

I actually think the use of hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy has great potential in theory, and do not understand yet, from what I have read, why it is not being more extensively investigated. What are they waiting for????? 

Here is the info from Pancan.

Dear Neal,

Thank you for continuing to find the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network a valuable resource. My name is Allison and I am a Patient Central Manager. You previously corresponded with my colleague Celeste. While she is out of the office today, I am happy to provide you with the information you are requesting.

Please note I am not a medical or nutritional professional, so I am unable to provide any medical/nutritional advice or recommendations.

The National Cancer Institute defines hyperbaric oxygen as follows:


Oxygen that is given at a pressure that is higher than the pressure of the atmosphere at sea level. In medicine, breathing hyperbaric oxygen increases the amount of oxygen in the body. It is used in treating certain kinds of wounds, injuries, and infections. It is also used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and other conditions in which the tissues are not getting enough oxygen. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Hyperbaric oxygen may increase the amount of oxygen in cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is a type of radiosensitizing agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent.


This treatment is not standard for any type of cancer at this time, however, it looks like this therapy is currently being investigated in a few different cancer types for treatment of the cancer or treatment of side effects: There are currently no studies in pancreatic cancer.


I also found a few articles on research that has been completed on this therapy that you may find useful:


Hyperbaric oxygen as an adjunctive therapy in treatment of malignancies, including brain tumours.

This study shows that the results obtained with a combination of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and radiation protocol proved to be especially favourable compared to radiation treatment alone. HBO can also increase the cytostatic effect of certain drugs, which may render standard chemotherapy more effective. The currently available data support the legitimacy of conducting further research on the use of HBO in the treatment of malignancies.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and cancer—a review   my note: very thorough review of literature

This study show that there is evidence that implies that hyperbaric oxygen therapy might have tumor-inhibitory effects in certain cancer subtypes, and suggest that we need to expand our knowledge on this topic.


Effect of hyperbaric oxygenation and gemcitabine on apoptosis of pancreatic ductal tumor cells in vitro.

This study investigated the effects of chemotherapy on pancreatic cancer cells in the laboratory.


I hope this is useful. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.






Allison Mayoral

Manager, Patient Central

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200

Manhattan Beach, CA  90266

Phone: 310.725.0025

Toll-Free: 877.272.6226


This study was done four years ago. Four years ago...Is it that bizarre to imagine a bunch of these chambers lined up where people are getting their chemo while inside the chamber? It is like lying inside a tanning bed. Is it any more bizarre than the infusion floors at the hospital where in each of the areas people are lined up getting chemo?

Anticancer Res. 2013 Nov;33(11):4827-32.

Effect of hyperbaric oxygenation and gemcitabine on apoptosis of pancreatic ductal tumor cells in vitro.

Bosco G1, Guizzon LYang ZCamporesi ECasarotto ABosio CMangar DChen CCannato MToniolo LGaretto GNasole EBassi C.

Author information



Gemcitabine is first-line therapy for advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with a poor survival and response rate. Hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) enhances delivery of oxygen to hypoxic tumor cells and increases their susceptibility to cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy. We hypothesized that the anticancer activity of gemcitabine (GEM) may be enhanced if tumor cells are placed in an oxygen-rich environment. The present study evaluated the effects of gemcitabine, HBO and their combination on apoptosis of tumor cells.


PANC-1 and AsPc-1 PDAC tumor cell lines were used. Cultured tumor cells were treated with GEM at its growth-inhibitory concentration (IC50) and HBO at 2.5 ATA for 90 min or a combination of both (HBO then GEM and GEM then HBO). Twenty-four hours later, apoptotic cells in each group were analyzed and the apoptotic index (AI) was calculated.


PANC-1 cell line: HBO alone had no effect on AI: 6.5 ± 0.1 vs. 5.9 ± 0.1. HBO before and after gemcitabine did not further increase AI: 8.2 ± 0.1 (HBO-GEM), 8.5 ± 0.1 (GEM-HBO) vs. 8.1 ± 0.1 (GEM). The combination of HBO and gemcitabine significantly increased AI: 10.7 ± 0.02 (p<0.001 vs. all groups). AsPc-1 cell line: HBO-alone had no effect on AI: 5.9 ± 0.1 vs. 5.9 ± 0.1. HBO before and after gemcitabine did not further increase AI: 8.2 ± 0.1 (HBO-GEM), 8.4 ± 0.1 (GEM-HBO) vs. 8.0 ± 0.1 (GEM). The combination of HBO and gemcitabine significantly increased AI: 9.7 ± 0.1 (p<0.001 vs. all groups).


HBO-alone, whether administered before and after gemcitabine has no effect on apoptosis of PDAC cells in vitro. HBO significantly enhanced gemcitabine-induced apoptosis when administered during gemcitabine. Our findings suggest that the time window would be critical for using HBO as adjuvant to chemotherapy.

Fax: 310.725.0029




Kim likes this post.
Sign in or sign up to post a comment. lists over 1100 papers describing studies on hyperbaric oxygen and cancer, so your statement "and (I) do not understand yet, from what I have read, why it is not being more extensively investigated. What are they waiting for?????" is a bit off the mark. Without having read much of the literature on the subject my guess is that the outcome of these studies was perhaps on the whole a bit underwhelming.
Several of the studies that I have read indicate that the studies were completed results never published question why? I wrote to one of the authors of one of the studies and hopefully I'll get a response to what happened with that one. And the government May list 1100 studies many of those don't directly address the questions of can it be used to help with chemo and radiation and so far the ones that I have found haven't talked about their results. why would they spend the time doing a large study one of them had N equal to 300.... and the Fairly thorough literature review was done several years ago.... and the results seems somewhat hopeful..... look, I'm not a researcher any more than most of the lay public is... But pan cans information was a bit underwhelming and of the studies that she did mention several of the ones that I looked up as I said, the ones that seem to be most relevant, do not have the results published
If you should look at any of the literature and find a study that had negative results please share... Thank you
Your first sentence would seem to be an oxymoron. I do not know what studies you refer to as not having published any results. There certainly are studies that never see the day of light. For one it is harder to publish a study that did not produce a significant outcome (as in “treatment A did not produce better results than the placebo”), also many studies do not pass the peer review process because of flaws in the experimental design, data analysis or interpretation or whatever. But frankly I can’t think of a scenario in which a scientist would make a reference to a study, but wouldn’t tell you how it went. That’s just not how science works. A scientist needs to publish his/her results to ensure continuation of funding not to mention professional advancement. If you know the name of a researcher you simply go to pubmed enter his/her name (as in Miller EM) and all relevant papers published by EM Miller will pop right up. Here’s the link: (
I am an oxymoron so no surprise there
On one of the links that pan can had sent I believe there were 33 studies listed I don't remember what number of that studies list were the two that listed no results I have to go back and look at it... why do I feel like you're giving me such a hard time... I am just trying to find out what is going on with the subject area
And if you are good at this I sure would appreciate some assistance

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February 10, 2017

North Haven, Connecticut 06473

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Pancreas Cancer

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