Radiation therapy is an
accepted medical intervention for eliminating cancer cells and tumors from tissue. Long-term radiation damage, radionecrosis,
may take years after radiation therapy to manifest itself. Radiation injury to bone (osteoradionecrosis) and to soft tissue
and organs (e.g. radiation cystitis and radiation proctitis) can have life altering consequences.
Radiation used as treatment
for head and neck cancer may damage the blood supply in the area of irradiated bone.
Osteoradionecrosis may develop; open wounds that do not heal properly may occur.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
triggers the healing response to these areas, reducing or eliminating the necrotic consequences caused by the radiation:
· Especially beneficial for high-risk patients, such as irradiated patients requiring tooth extraction
· Allows more oxygen to reach the damaged areas; prevents tissues from dying from poor blood flow
· Boosts immune response to fight infections
· Promotes new bone growth
· Promotes new capillary growth
· Heals open wounds
· Stimulates angiogenesis in marginally viable tissue
In reconstructive surgery
involving irradiated tissue, hyperbaric oxygen therapy prior to surgery promotes a well-vascularized wound, enhancing healing
and the reconstructive process.
Suggested treatment schedule:
Marx Protocol: for Osteoradionecrosis
prior to dental extraction:
· One daily
treatment, five days per week for a total of 20-30 treatments
· Post dental
extraction: One daily treatment, five days per week for a total of 10 treatments
For Radiation soft-tissue necrosis:
One daily treatment, five days per week for a total of 20-60 treatments, as individual