Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is being studied for its potential benefits in increasing the success of umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplants and engraftment. UCB is often used when a donor is not available for stem cell transplants to produce blood cells for the treatment of blood-related cancers. Engraftment is a critical stage where the transplanted blood-making cells start producing healthy cells in their new environment.
HBOT is a non-invasive treatment where patients breathe 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber, promoting faster cell multiplication in the body. Studies indicate that receiving a two-hour HBOT treatment on the day of transplant and continuing HBOT treatments as recommended by an oncologist after transplant can significantly reduce the need for blood transfusions. 100% of patients who received HBOT were able to stop blood transfusions after 100 days. This indicates that transplanted stem cells were able to attach to bone marrow and produce stem cells independently.
“…receiving a two-hour HBOT treatment on the day of transplant and continuing with HBOT treatments…show a large reduction in the need for blood transfusions.”
Recent research published in the American Journal of Physiology has demonstrated that HBOT can substantially increase stem cell production. The study found that HBOT mobilized stem cells from the bone marrow, with CD34 stem cells increasing eight-fold and colony-forming cells (CFCs) also increasing over the course of 20 treatments. Although HBOT has been in use for over 70 years, these findings provide a promising new scientific breakthrough in stem cell mobilization.