HBOT is last hope for many patients
“For the subset of patients who suffer from late effects of radiation exposure, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is often the only treatment than can prevent irreversible bone or tissue loss or enable them to undergo life-improving reconstructive procedures such as breast or facial surgeries,” explains Susan Sprau, M.D., a hyperbaric medicine specialist at UCLA. “By offering this therapy, we are able to provide a better quality of life to patients who have already survived devastating illnesses.”
Late side effects from radiotherapy result from scarring and narrowing of the blood vessels within the treatment area, which may lead to inadequate blood supply and cause necrosis of normal tissues and bones. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) helps blood carry more oxygen to affected areas and stimulates growth of new blood vessels by exposing patients to pure oxygen within a sealed chamber set at greater than the ambient atmospheric pressure. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is safe, non-invasive, effective and well-tolerated by appropriate patients,” says Dr. Sprau, “and hyperbaric treatment for radiation damage qualifies for Medicare reimbursement.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
HBOT has emerged as an effective treatment for some patients who previously had little hope of recovering from late side effects of radiotherapy. HBOT increases the amount of oxygen in the blood by exposing patients to pure oxygen within a sealed chamber set at pressures greater than the ambient atmosphere, with results that can be measured using a transcutaneous partial pressure oxygen (TCPO2) monitor before and after treatment. Experts believe HBOT helps patients by stimulating growth of new blood vessels following radiation-induced damage.
HBOT has the longest history of success in treating or preventing damage to the jaw bone resulting from radiation treatment, but has also been effectively used to treat radiation-induced damage to the head, neck, chest wall, abdomen and pelvis. For example, HBOT may prevent tooth loss or collapse of the jaw bone in patients previously treated for head or neck cancers, promote successful skin grafts or flaps following reconstructive surgery in patients treated for breast cancer, and eliminate persistent urinary bleeding (radiation cystitis) in patients treated for prostate cancer.
Excerpt from UCLA Health system
Don’t Go Nuclear: Protecting Yourself from Radiation Sickness (Lessons from Nature)
March 18, 2011
The risks currently posed by the Japanese reactor crises are relatively small here in the US. However in Japan they are serious. But Japan’s problems will slowly spread to the rest of the World.
For years I have been studying cell defense mechanisms. Ionizing radiation (the kind emitting from the reactors in Japan) , much like oxidative stress, damages all aspects of cell biochemistry. Scientists have discovered several species that are incredibly resistant to ionizing radiation. In the old test blasts in the US Southwest desert, huge amounts of radiation had little to no effect on cockroaches. In the laboratory we can zap a funny sounding bacteria, Deinococcus radiodurans (which roughly translates as: I am one tough bug when it comes to radiation), with huge doses of radiation and it survives and repairs all the damage easily (Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2011 Mar;75(1):133-91.). So does another tough bacteria, Kineococcus radiotolerans (which translates as: I can suck up huge doses of radiation – PLoS One. 2010 Aug 26;5(8):e12427.)
Deinococcus radiodurans — the consummate survivor
So what lessons can we learn from radiation resistant microbes and cockroaches? First, if we keep playing with radioactive in this way we will likely cede the World to their progeny rather than our own. But more importantly, the lesson they are teaching us is the same lesson we already have learned – at least in part – from oxidative stress in autism, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
The tough microbe, D. radiodurans, has dual backup systems to repair oxidative stress. K. radiotolerans is a bit more unusual and it seems to suck in ionic cooper to act as a sink for free radicals created by radiation. And for all of us we know killing a cockroach is tough, but if you were tempted to nuke them – forget it. They can endure living at the levels 131x what would immediately kill you. This is of course not new news. D. R. A. Wharton and Martha L. Wharton (1959), published simialr findings in: (The Effect of Radiation on the Longevity of the Cockroach, Periplaneta americana, as Affected by Dose, Age, Sex and Food Intake. Radiation Research: October 1959, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 600-615). Debbie Hadley summarizes the cockroach research this way: “Scientists measure radiation exposure in “rems,” an objective measure of the specific damage radiation would cause to human tissue. Humans can withstand 5 rems safely. Exposure to just 800 rems would be deadly for us. If you want to kill an American cockroach with radiation, it will take 67,500 rems to do the job. German cockroaches are even more impervious to radiation, requiring between 90,000 and 105,000 before you’ll see them on their backs.”
Cockroaches (presumably they need this in order to live where they live) can repair oxidative insult from both ionizing and oxidizing exposures extremely rapidly.
I know you can’t get potassium iodide now that your thinking about it – always the case in disasters. What can we do to try to catch up with roaches and bacteria in the nuclear defense race?
1) Antioxidants and HBOT: These are necessary back up and sacrificial scavengers to take the damage from radiation so the DNA can be spared. HBOT induces (particularily higher HBOT pressures 2.0 ATA or higher) induces temporary oxidative stress rapidly followed by an increase in DNA production of Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase (key enzymes which deal with oxidative damage). This helps to defend your cells.
2) NAC (acetylcysteine): This is the best way to increase glutathione inside cells. Glutathione is the MAIN cell defense against damage.
3) Probiotics: Probioitcs have been demonstrated to decrease the effects of radiation injury on the hut during cancer treatment.
4) Curcumin: As we know, curcumin is an amazing defender of cells from both inflammation and oxidation. (cell the post on it on an earlier blog). Getting it to the brain is challenging, but higher doses and lipid wrapped curcumin may be helpful.
5) Vitamin C: I have given IV Vitamin C to radiation patients and helped to spare them complications without keeping the cancer from being killed. Even if that seems paradoxical it has worked will. Vitamin C will act as a sacrificial antioxidant.
6) Chelation: The US Atomic Energy Commission controls ALL of the special chelators designed to chelate plutonium and uranium (and I doubt they have any intention of sharing it with us). These chelators are different from the commonly used DMSA and DMPS and CaNa2-EDTA. The reason they need to be different is the plutonium and uranium atoms have different chemical properties from mercury and lead. Our common chelators aren’t supposed to work that well on the large radioactive atoms. Having said that, we routinely see significant: uranium, cesium, gadolinium on our IV challenge results. Cesium in particular is very large in size and yet still seems to chelate with DMPS in particular. Cesium 137 is radioactive and results from nuclear fission. It is commonly detected in my patients from Eastern Europe and Russia after Chernobyl. However, we are seeing increased amounts of cesium in the US as well and we know part of the Chernobyl fallout made it all the way around the Northern Hemisphere.
Excerpt from drbradstreet.org/2011/03/18/dont-go-nuclear-protecting-yourself-from-radiation-sickness-lessons-from-nature/
By Dr. Bradstreet