Because increased effects have been achieved when murine tumors are irradiated after a period of hypoxia and because of anecdotal clinical experiences of an improved result after irradiation of previously anemic patients in hyperbaric oxygen, the relationship between irradiation and increased survival was investigated in seventy-two patients with advanced head and neck or cervical cancer. Anemia was achieved by means of a two-stage isovolemic venesection maintained for seventy-two hours, hemoglobin was returned to a normal level, and treatment in hyperbaric oxygen was started. Marked tumor shrinkage after the induction of anemia and before radiotherapy was seen and was probably disease, site, and hemoglobin level related. As a result, a possible new approach to cancer therapy is suggested. After completion of therapy, the 1-year disease-free survival for patients with head and neck and cervical cancer was not improved, but the 21-month survival for cervical cancer was improved. Further studies are strongly urged.
Sealy, Jacobs, Wood, Levin, Barry, Boniaszczuk, Blekkenhorst, , (1989). The treatment of tumors by the induction of anemia and irradiation in hyperbaric oxygen. Cancer, 1989 Aug;64(3):646-52. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2743260