Pelvic radiation therapy is an important element of curative therapy for gynaecological cancers. Serious radiation-related complications developing months or years after treatment are known as late radiation tissue injury (LRTI). We investigated the possible pain reducing effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) in a study of 16 patients with LRTI after radiation for gynaecological malignancy. The 16 patients were registered prospectively, underwent HBOT for 21 consecutive days and were followed for a 6-month period after treatment using the Brief Pain Inventory, Montgomery and Aasberg Depression Rating Scale, as well as registration of global patient scores, analgesic consumption and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. HBOT was shown to have insignificant effect on pain, pain characteristics, daily function, the use of analgesics and MRI-related tissue injury. Fifty percent of the patients still reported some or good effect of the treatment. It is not possible to conclude from our study if gynaecological patients with pelvic pain will benefit from HBOT. The application of HBOT to selected patients may be justified, but further research with adequate sample size, as well as the timing of HBOT related to the development of LRTI, is required to establish the optimum patient selection.
Rud, Bjørgo, Kristensen, Kongsgaard, , , , , (2009). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for late radiation tissue injury in gynaecological patients. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2009 Dec;17(12):1517-21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19319575