A Japanese clinical research team recently published long-term follow-up data from a small series of patients treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to alleviate radiation cystitis as a side effect associated with radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
This study by Nakada et al. offers retrospective data from a series of 38 patients followed for an average of > 11 years. In addition to the abstract of their paper, the authors have offered some further thoughts on the benefits of HBOT in a series of “Beyond the abstract” comments on the UroToday web site.
Here are the core data from the original study:
- The average age of the 38 patients was 68 ± 8 years.
- All patients has radiation cystitis consequent to radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
- All patients were treated with HBOT (at two atmospheric pressures for 90 minutes a day).
- The average number of HBOT sessions was 62 ± 12.
- The follow-up period was 11.6 ± 3.7 years.
- High levels of efficacy (79 to 95 percent) were observed at 2 and 4 years of follow-up.
- Efficacy levels were slightly lower (72 to 83 percent) at 7 years of follow-up, but stabilized thereafter.
- Comparison of morbidity scores pre-treatment and at an average of 11.6 years after HBO therapy showed statistically significant improvement (p < 0.0005).
- 28/38 patients (74 percent) had non-recurrence of their cystitis.
- These 28 patients had received a significantly lower radiation dosage (18 percent lower; p < 0.001) than patients who had recurrence of their cystitis.
- Time from onset of hematuria (blood in the urine) to start of HBOT was significantly shorter (30 percent; p < 0.001) among non-recurrent patients than among recurrent patients.
Nakada et al. conclude that HBOT for radiation cystitis in patients with prostate cancer is effective and beneficial, and that early application of HBOT following onset of hematuria seems to produce a favorable outcome in a high percentage of patients. However, it is notable that HBOT may be less effective among men with radiation cystitis who were given higher-dose forms of radiation therapy and among those who started HBOT some time after the initial signs of hematuria.