Inhaling supplemental oxygen can awaken anti-tumor cells

Inhaling supplemental oxygen can awaken anti-tumor cells

That essential oxygen we breathe is delivered to our organs and body tissues via the blood pumped throughout our bodies. Scientists have known for quite some time that adequate oxygen is vital to healthy organs and proper brain function.

Most of the time, the immune system identifies and destroys abnormal cells, preventing them from developing into cancer. Once a tumor begins to develop, it has its own defenses to block attacks from the immune system. Tumors grow faster than blood supplied oxygen can combat. This creates an oxygen-deprived environment that is more conducive to tumor growth. The lack of oxygen is a catalyst to the tumor making adenosine. The adenosine molecule neutralizes the tumor fighting T cells of the immune system.

A recent cancer study using mice suggests extra oxygen could boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells.

The study led by Michail Sitkovsky, who is the director of the Tissue Protection Institute at Northeastern University, used mice with lung tumors to test how extra oxygen altered the tumor created environment and helped the immune system do its job.

The tumors of mice that were in the high-oxygen group shrank. The shrinking was more significant when the mice were injected with additional T cells. What makes the results even more exciting is that oxygen is so well tolerated by the human body, unlike many traditional cancer treatments.

3 Replies

  • Worth keeping an eye on, but the article frustratingly lacks detail. Air contains about 20% oxygen and you can get as much as you want by breathing more often and more deeply. Do they actually mean breathing in a higher concentration of oxygen i.e. by bleeding additional oxygen into what you breathe in via an oxygen cylinder? How does that compare with just deeper breathing or raising your respiration rate by exercising strongly?

    The research was based on lung tumours, which presumably are exposed to what you breathe in, so I'm not sure how it extends to tumours elsewhere in the body. Might be more relevant to leukaemias where the leukaemia cells will be exposed when they pass through the lungs, but that may not affect the B-cells in lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow, etc.

    I'll show my ignorance here, but the percentage of oxygenation of your blood can be tested by a sensor clipped on your finger and that shows very close to 100% if you are healthy. Can you exceed 100% blood oxygenation?

    Oxygen cylinders are very hard to get for medical purposes in Australia and rightly so, because it is the second most oxidative element after fluorine. It might be cheap compared to chemotherapy drugs, but it still needs someone trained in how to use it safely.

    I guess that if this proposed treatment is realised, you'll have to cut all anti-oxidants out of your food and stop taking anti-oxidant supplements too :) .


  • Hi

    This article might be of interest.


  • Thanks, I'd forgotten about hyperbaric chambers. Unfortunately, not the kind of thing you can do at home...

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