Ozone therapy is an unconventional treatment for cancer.1 Cancer cells are known to grow well in anaerobic (oxygen-deprived) environments. Treatment with ozone increases oxygen levels near the tumor and prevents its growth. Also, ozone activates the body’s immune system.2 How is ozone therapy given to cancer patients?
In this article, we provide an overview of autohemotherapy, a common method of administering ozone therapy to cancer patients.
What is ozone treatment autohemotherapy?
Autohemotherapy is the injection of autologous (the patient’s own) whole blood or serum.3 In other words, a sample of blood is withdrawn from a patient, manipulated in the laboratory, and reintroduced into the same patient.
Ozone treatment autohemotherapy consists of withdrawing a sample of the patient’s blood, mixing the blood with ozone, and reinjecting it into the patient’s bloodstream.4
How does ozone autohemotherapy work for cancer?
Tumor hypoxia (lack of oxygen in a tumor) is known to reduce the effectiveness of traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cancer cells that exist in oxygen-poor environments are resistant to conventional anticancer therapies. A hypoxic environment also makes the cancer cells more aggressive with a greater potential to spread throughout the body.5
Increasing the levels of oxygen near a tumor (tumor oxygenation) is therefore used as an unconventional adjuvant cancer treatment. Autohemotherapy is a method of administering ozone to cancer patients.
Does ozone autohemotherapy kill cancer cells?
Tumor cells are located in tissues deep inside the body. When ozone is given systemically (to the whole body) through autohemotherapy, it does not reach the specific tumor cells. Therefore, ozone autohemotherapy does not directly kill tumor cells. The effects of ozone on cancer cells are indirect.6 Ozone causes small increases in oxygen levels in the vicinity of the tumor, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.6
Can ozone autohemotherapy cure cancer?
There is no evidence from large-scale clinical trials that ozone autohemotherapy can cure cancer. However, there are encouraging results for its use as an adjuvant treatment.
One study showed that when ozone is administered through autohemoperfusion, there is no significant change in tumor oxygenation.6 However, it is notable that tumors with very low oxygen levels can benefit from ozone autohemotherapy. Interestingly, patients with a high hemoglobin concentration in their blood have a poor response to ozone therapy. The results of this study confirmed that ozone autohemotherapy is a promising adjuvant treatment which can increase the effectiveness of chemo-radiotherapy.1
Is ozone autohemotherapy safe? What are the possible side effects?
Ozone therapy has been used for more than 150 years in medicine. Medical-grade ozone is delivered in precise doses at alternative medicine cancer clinics. Ozone therapy is proven to be a safe treatment with very few side effects.7 Sometimes, there can be complications of ozone therapy, such as:8
- Respiratory problems like shortness of breath
- Circulation and heart problems
- Increased risk of stroke
It is noteworthy that these side effects and complications are rare and preventable. For the most part, ozone autohemotherapy for cancer treatment is a safe therapy.
Is ozone autohemotherapy FDA approved?
The FDA prohibits the use of ozone for medical use.9 Large-scale clinical trials are needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of ozone autohemotherapy before it can be considered as a standard adjunct cancer treatment.