Can Ozone therapy reduce the side effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation?
There is a reason Ozone is used in every German holistic clinic as a mandatory therapy to prepare clients before therapy. Some doctors prepare their patients with Ozone up to 3 week prior to chemo and radiation to prevent tumour lysis syndrome and to decrease the side effects of conventional therapies.
“Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is estimated to account for 9.6 million deaths in 2018” – WHO
Cancer is a complex multifaceted disease characterized by rapid cell growth. The cells have lost the ability to self-destruct due to their own mutations. Malignant cells grow until a mass of cells becomes a tumor and interfere with the normal functioning of that part of the body.
Conventional treatment approach
Chemotherapy is commonly used as a component of therapy for a wide range of malignant conditions. Chemotherapeutics function to destroy cancer cells by inducing cell death with a few different mechanisms. Radiotherapy is also frequently used to achieve local or regional control of malignancies either alone or in combination with other modalities such as chemotherapy or surgery.
How does chemo and radiation work?
Cancer cells grow and divide very quickly with no order or control. Chemotherapy weakens and destroys fast dividing cells. Cancer cells at the tumor site and throughout the body are targeted in this process as the treatment is systemic. Most normal cells grow and divide in an orderly way however some normal cells divide quickly such as cells in the mouth, esophagus, digestive tract and bone marrow. Chemotherapy can therefore unintendedly harm these other types of rapidly dividing cells which results in some of the commonly experienced chemotherapy side effects. Many of the common chemotherapeutic agents’ initiate either cell death or cell injury of cancer cells through free radical mechanism. Radiation can induce cell death or trigger DNA damage by free radical production and thus can harm both normal and cancer cells.
What makes these treatments work better?
The presence of oxygen within the tumor increases the effectiveness of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The first step for drug action is adequate delivery to the desired location or tumor site. This depends largely on blood flow and oxygen present in the tumor and the diffusion characteristics of the drug in tissue. Chemotherapy kills cells by increasing the oxidant state of the affected cells. If the oxidation however is too severe, cell injury occurs with an increased risk of the patient suffering from tumor lysis syndrome. Tumor lysis syndrome is the destruction of cells leaking out all its cellular content and plasma fluid which results in imbalances and inflammation in the body. Due to this, severe oxidation and subsequent tumor lysis syndrome is best avoided.
So what needs to be considered?
In light of this, regulating the oxidant state and maintaining mitochondrial function of every cell with antioxidants actually helps to improve the outcome. It helps to shift tumor killing to proper cell death. This reduces the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Cell death, known as apoptosis is the normal way cells die and therefore the most preferred way of killing off cancer cells.
The effectiveness of treatment depends on the properties of the cancer cell. It depends greatly on whether the tumor has a low oxygen status known as hypoxia or a severely compromised energy system. When our energy power houses (mitochondria) are reduced within a cancer cell then a drug such as chemotherapy has a diminished effect.
Do cancer cells have less oxygen than other tissues?
Low oxygen status in cancers is actually a known mechanism for the resistance of tumor cells to anti-cancer drugs and radiotherapy. Oxygen deprivation in cancerous tissues is a relevant factor which enhances the formation of blood vessels to feed cancer and further metastasis.
Primary and metastatic tumors thrive in areas of the body where the average oxygen pressure is lower than normal tissues. The average oxygen pressure in tumors is roughly 2-10 mm Hg versus 40-45 mm Hg in normal cells. In these low oxygen conditions, the body is unable to mount a reaction for re-establishing healthy physiological levels.
In a state of oxygen deprivation or reduced oxygen availability a protein in the body regulates the adaptive response to stress resulting from a low oxygen level. This protein regulates a hormone that controls the production of red blood cells as well as a growth factor which promotes the formation of new blood vessels. This allows the body to adapt its mechanism to conditions of low oxygen and still support the growth of cancer. The physical stress of low oxygen actually determines the activation of this protein and resulting in the negative effects of cell proliferation and generation of new vessels. Further demonstrating the importance of increasing oxygen status in tumor cells.
The use of oxygen is associated with the formations of free radicals otherwise known as reactive oxygen species. These free radical formations create an oxidative stress within the cells which has a complex effect on cancer development. Under normal healthy conditions, the cellular generation of free radicals is counterbalanced by the action of antioxidant enzymes. If there is an excessive production and accumulation of free radicals it can lead to cellular injury and subsequent damage to cell membranes and DNA. The balance between free radical generation and the elimination of these is important to maintain proper cellular antioxidant and oxidant state, in other words homeostasis.
What effect does ozone have on cancer cells?
Research has demonstrated that ozone has the ability to be an anti-cancer agent and a potent adjuvant for the treatment of cancer patients.
But firstly, how does ozone work?
Ozone represents an unstable molecule characterized by 3 atoms of oxygen. The ozone gas dissolves in the water of plasma or in the interstitial fluids and immediately disappears by reacting with organic compounds (cells, bacteria, viruses, stool and blood) generating a number of messengers acting on various blood components and procuring early and late biological effects. This process occurs in a matter of seconds producing: ozonides aldehydes and peroxides. These two substances induce a mild oxidative stress at the cellular level within 60 seconds – which is crucial in order to activate the biochemical pathways. Antioxidants are required to counteract the mild oxidative stress, furthermore no damage to healthy cells occurs during this process.
- Oxygenation and improved oxygen metabolism
Ozone supports the regulation of oxygen metabolism and oxygenation in the use of aerobic pathway for the production of energy. Cancer cells are anaerobic, meaning no oxygen is required for the cells to survive and thus lactic acidosis is used instead which ozone helps to combat. Ozone improves tumor oxygenation by significantly and constantly increasing oxygen availability and microcirculation which may slow down tumor growth and inhibit metastasis. Although this sounds paradoxical, the state of sufficient oxygen by ozone therapy inhibits and counteracts the production of new blood vessels and improves the radiotherapy and chemotherapy resistance of tumors.
- Increases antioxidants and reduces oxidative stress
The mild oxidative stress produced by ozone therapy helps to increase the cellular antioxidant enzymes capable of inhibiting chronic oxidative stress. In cancer, a persistent oxidative stress has been noted as a factor favoring the progression of invasion and metastasis and therefore important to counteract. The fact that cancer cells live better in a low oxygen environment may imply that they don’t have an antioxidant system to deal with free radicals. Therefore, ozone could exert important destructive effects on tumor cells if they have a poor defense system. Furthermore, ozone accelerates the energy cycle and stimulates the energy power houses of cells which is usually impaired in cancer patients.
- Modulates and activates the immune system
Ozone modulates the immune system making possible the recovery of the immune response against tumor cells. Through the action of ozone’s mild oxidative stress, it acts as an inducer of cytokines in while blood cells. Activating the immune system in our lymph microenvironments which is usually suppressed by tumor growth.
Why rectal insufflations?
Evidence has been found that rectal ozone therapy effectively prevented the deleterious effect of chemotherapy. Also it has been proved that ozone treatments reversed the damage generated by the chemotherapy agent.
Rectal insufflations are a systemic administration route which has several advantages compared to major autohaemotherapy as it is easy and cost effective. Additionally, there is an absence of pain and no required venous access which is difficult to find especially in cancer patients as well as children and in elderly.
Moreover, it shows the additional benefits of being absorbed through the blood vessels of the rectum which increases oxygenation of the portal vein with a consequent improvement of liver detoxification, especially in reference to the chemotherapeutics drugs. It helps to maintain a stable oxygenation level and pH of the intestinal mucosa with subsequent reduction of the gastrointestinal side effects due to the chemotherapy agents.
Considering the countless benefits of the rectal insufflations, it could be a preferable administration route in order to use ozone as an adjuvant therapy in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation.
What does research say?
“In a randomized controlled clinical trial by Menéndez, Cepero, & Borrego, (2008) they had 70 patients with prostatic adenocarcinoma, stage A and B. All patients were treated with cobalt-60 therapy (radiation) but with 35 patients they added rectal ozone. Rectal ozone was included 6 days per week at a dose of 40mg/L during the 6 weeks that lasted the radiotherapy. Within the first 2 weeks of treatment with cobalt therapy the participants had an increased appearance of side effects. However, ozone application decreased these side effects, even to the point where they didn’t have any side effects during the first 2 weeks.
At the end of treatment, in 84% of the patients treated only with cobalt therapy and in 52% of the ozone group, referred to the presence of side effects, with significant differences between both groups. The prostatic specific antigen (PSA) was measured in all patients. At the beginning of the treatment no significant differences between both groups were observed. One month after finishing the treatment the PSA levels decreased dramatically. The results showed that 92% of patients treated with ozone had a PSA level below 10ng/mL. The group treated solely with radiotherapy only had 53% below 10ng/mL, indicating a significant result with ozone therapy”.
Cancer is a multifaceted disease state and the underlying root causes of dis-ease must be addressed. Low oxygen status in tumors is a well-recognized mechanism for resistance of tumor cells to anticancer drugs and radiotherapy. Lack of oxygen is also a relevant factor enhancing formation of new blood vessels to cancer, changes in cells and metastasis. The benefits of ozone therapy make it an extremely invaluable additional treatment in cancer pathology, in addition to reducing the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Furthermore, ozone addresses other factors both causing or indirectly affecting the development and proliferation of cancers such as inflammation, high bacterial and viral loads, low antioxidant function, energy impairments… Ozone therapy is an invaluable treatment that can increase overall wellbeing and quality of life in cancer patients.
Includes: 1 x Ozone Generator with 5 year warranty, 6 OZONE OILS, 1.5m silicon hose, 1 x International power supply and plugs, 1 Flow Regulator (medical or industrial), 2 x Ozone Insufflation Bags, 10 x Ozone Catheters, 1 x Limb Ozone Bag with in/outlet, 1 x MnO3 Ozone Destruct Unit, 2 x 60ml Syringes, 6 x Luerlock connectors AND MORE!
Bocci, V. (1996). Ozone as a bioregulator. Pharmacology and toxicology of ozonetherapy today. Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents.
Bocci, V. A. (2006). Scientific and medical aspects of ozone therapy. State of the art. Rivista Italiana Di Ossigeno-Ozonoterapia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2005.08.006
Bocci, V., Ph, D., Larini, A., Ph, D., Micheli, V., & Ph, D. (2005). Restoration of Normoxia by Ozone Therapy May Control Neoplastic Growth : A Review and a Working Hypothesis, 11(2), 257–265.
Bocci, V., Zanardi, I., & Travagli, V. (2011). Oxygen / ozone as a medical gas mixture . A critical evaluation of the various methods clarifies positive and negative aspects. Medical Gas Research, 1(1), 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-9912-1-6
Clavo, B., Pérez, J. L., López, L., Suárez, G., Lloret, M., Rodríguez, V., … Robaina, F. (2004). Ozone Therapy for Tumor Oxygenation: a Pilot Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1(1), 93–98. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neh009
Clavo, B., Ruiz, A., Lloret, M., López, L., Suárez, G., Macías, D., … Robaina, F. (2004). Adjuvant Ozonetherapy in Advanced Head and Neck Tumors : A Comparative Study, 1(3), 321–325. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neh038
Clavo, B., Santana-rodriguez, N., Llontop, P., Gutierrez, D., Ceballos, D., Méndez, C., … Fiuza, D. (2015). Ozone Therapy in the Management of Persistent Radiation-Induced Rectal Bleeding in Prostate Cancer Patients, 2015.
Elvis, A., & Ekta, J. (2011). Ozone therapy: A clinical review. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 2(1), 66. https://doi.org/10.4103/0976-9668.82319
LUONGO, M., BRIGIDA, A. L., MASCOLO, L., & GAUDINO, G. (2017). Possible Therapeutic Effects of Ozone Mixture on Hypoxia in Tumor Development. Anticancer Research, 37(2), 425–436. https://doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.11334
Menéndez, S., Cepero, J., & Borrego, L. (2008). Ozone therapy in cancer treatment: State of the art. Ozone: Science and Engineering, 30(6), 398–404. https://doi.org/10.1080/01919510802473724
Morry, J., Ngamcherdtrakul, W., & Yantasee, W. (2017). Oxidative stress in cancer and fibrosis: Opportunity for therapeutic intervention with antioxidant compounds, enzymes, and nanoparticles. Redox Biology, 11(December 2016), 240–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2016.12.011
Rilling, D. M. S., & President. (n.d.). Ozone : Science & Engineering : The Journal of the International Ozone Association The Basic Clinical Applications of Ozone Therapy, (February 2015), 37–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/01919518508552307
Sagai, M., & Bocci, V. (2011). Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy: Is healing induced via a mild oxidative stress? Medical Gas Research, 1(1), 29. https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-9912-1-29
Smith, N., Wilson, A., Gandhi, J., Vatsia, S., & Khan, S. (2017). Ozone therapy: An overview of pharmacodynamics, current research, and clinical utility. Medical Gas Research, 7(3), 212. https://doi.org/10.4103/2045-9912.215752