How Ozone Therapy May Improve Cancer Treatments
Ozone therapy has been included in alternative and integrative cancer treatment programs outside of the US for many decades. Only recently has ozone therapy gained some attention in the US for its anti-cancer effects. Ozone therapy refers to the use of O3, which is a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms that are unstably combined together. This is somewhat similar to the oxygen that most people are familiar with, O2, which is two oxygen molecules bound together in a more stable fashion. The power of ozone therapy stems from this third oxygen molecule. In living systems when ozone is exposed to the blood this causes a chemical reaction to occur with amino acids and lipids. This reaction forms intermediate molecules known as peroxides, and it is these molecules that give ozone health promoting effects.
One interesting effect that ozone therapy has is the ability to increase tissue oxygenation. In one study looking at this, a group of people with cancer had the level of oxygenation in their tumors assessed both before and after ozone administration. Ozone administration was done through a process called autohemotransfusion. This type of ozone administration is also called major autohemotherapy. This procedure involves drawing blood out of persons body into a sterile container, exposing it to ozone, and then infusing it back into the person. The ozone gas reacts with the blood in the container, forming the peroxides described above, and then these create an effect in the body. In this case, the study authors found that after only a single week of treatment there was a measurable increase in tumor oxygenation.
This finding is important because in many cases of cancer the poorer the oxygenation within a tumor, the poorer the effect of treatment. Tissues that have a deficient amount of oxygen are referred to as hypoxic. Many scientific studies have shown that the degree of hypoxia within a tumor can be predictive about a tumors response the treatment, or even about the tumors aggressiveness. For example, in one study of breast and colon cancer cells, the greater the level of hypoxia the greater the chance of resistance to the chemotherapy drug 5-FU. Additionally, in head and neck cancers it has been proposed that the degree of hypoxia can correlate with the tumors response the treatment and even overall survival.
Ozone therapy is very safe when used by a properly trained naturopathic physician. Ozone therapy is nearly free from adverse effects, and had the potential to help improve health in a variety of illnesses. For more information on ozone therapy, visit our Ozone Therapy page or call our office today.
Article contributed by Dr. Jonathan Psenka