Use of hyberbaric oxygen in oncology

November 21, 2019


1m 34s


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used to improve the supply of oxygen to damaged tissues, mainly due to oncological treatments. A group of researchers from Las Palmas, Spain, developed the protocol “FEASIBILITY OF A HYPERBARIC OXYGEN PROGRAM. TREATMENT OF TOXICITY. FIRST SPANISH EXPERIENCE “, to evaluate the viability, tolerability and short-term results of HBOT.

The patients were referred by several specialists and evaluated by a single doctor.

  • Inclusion criteria: late toxicity due to oncological treatment, delay in wound healing.
  • Exclusion criteria: claustrophobia, pacifiers, uncontrolled epilepsy.

Each patient was administered a 60-minute daily session. In total, they received 40 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 1.4 ATA (in BioBarica hyperbaric chambers). Patient characteristics and supportive treatment were recorded. Quality of Life surveys were conducted every 10 sessions.

Between February 2018 and January 2019, 31 patients were included:

  • Five patients (16.12%) had not completed HBOT treatment due to barotrauma, intolerance to pressure, breakthrough infection and self-determination.
  • The average age was 57.9 (37-84).
  • The majority of patients had an oncological disease and/or had been treated with radiotherapy (29/31, 93.4%).
  • Pain (67.7%) and bleeding (56.5%) were the main symptoms.
  • So far, 18 patients have completed HBOT treatment.
  • All patients had a positive final medical evaluation, showing clinical improvement in 15/18 patients (83.3%) and a decrease in supportive treatment requirements in 16/18 (88.9%).
  • A total of 91 quality of life surveys were conducted.
  • 17/18 patients showed an improvement in the overall subjective evaluation (P30), with an increase of ≥ 2 points (more than 7) in nine patients.

With these results, it can be concluded that HBOT is a feasible and well-tolerated treatment. There is an improvement in the quality of life in the majority of treated patients.


Lloret M., Rivero J, Garcia L, Alonso D, Ferrandiz V, Lopez-Molina L, Cabrera R, Salas B, Ferrera L, Castilla-Martínez J, Kannemann A, Blanco J, Chicas-Sett R, Rodriguez-Melcón I , Federico M, Freitas-Ribeiro I, Cabezón MA, Rodriguez-Ibarria, Pinar B, Lara P.

Department of Radiation Oncology of the Dr. Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria. Las Palmas, Spain.

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Las Palmas University of Gran Canaria. Las Palmas, Spain. Department of Oncology of San Roque University Hospital / Fernando Pessoa University Canarias. Las Palmas, Spain.