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HBOT and Immune Cell Function within Tumors

HBOT and Immune Cell Function within Tumors

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can enhance immune cell function within tumors through several mechanisms:

1. Improved Oxygenation: HBOT increases the partial pressure of oxygen in tissues, which can alleviate hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment. Hypoxia often suppresses immune cell function, so improved oxygenation can enhance the activity of immune cells such as T cells and natural killer (NK) cells.

2. Enhanced T-cell Infiltration: By improving oxygen levels, HBOT can facilitate better infiltration of T cells into the tumor. This can convert “cold” tumors, which are poorly infiltrated by immune cells, into “hot” tumors that are more responsive to immunotherapy.

3. Modulation of Immune Checkpoints: HBOT may influence the expression of immune checkpoint molecules, potentially enhancing the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors. This can lead to a more robust anti-tumor immune response.

4. Reduction of immunosuppression Factors: Hypoxic conditions in tumors often lead to the production of immunosuppressive factors like adenosine and certain cytokines. By reducing hypoxia, HBOT can decrease these factors, thereby enhancing immune cell function.

5. Activation of Immune Cells: Enhanced oxygenation can improve the metabolic function of immune cells, making them more effective in recognizing and attacking tumor cells.

Overall, HBOT has the potential to enhance the immune response against tumors, making it a valuable adjunct in cancer therapy, particularly in combination with immunotherapies. Further research is ongoing to fully elucidate these effects and optimize treatment protocols

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