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Ozone Therapy & Ultraviolet Light

Introduction to Ozone Therapy?

How does ozone therapy work?

Ultraviolet Light (UV)

How is the ultraviolet light treatment administered?


Introduction to Ozone Therapy?

Ozone Therapy Video

When most people hear the word ozone, they think of what they often smell after a thunderstorm, when lightning has literally "supercharged" the air. Or, if they remember their high school science class, they think of the ozone layer as an invisible but protective "blanket" near (or at) the top of our atmosphere.

Ozone itself is nothing more than oxygen with a molecular structure of O3 instead of O2. The numbers indicate how many atoms make up each molecule; thus, the "supercharged" concept is not a bad analogy. However, the additional atom in each molecule makes ozone a highly reactive oxidant. Imagine a carbon steel knife blade left to rust on a bench. If the bench were in your garage, the knife blade might be completely covered by rust in several months. But if the same knife were sealed into an ozone-rich atmosphere, the same result might be achieved in a matter of days.

However, one particular anticancer application of ozone is very therapeutic. It has been shown that ozone supports broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. This means that it fights the bacteria that cause infection. in the First World War, medics used it to save the lives of wounded soldiers suffering from gaseous gangrene. Today, ozonated solutions and ozonated oils are still used to treat wounds and a host of infections. Ozone therapies are used to treat fistulae, abscesses, ulcers, gingivitis, stomactitis, and osteomyelitis.

Ozone therapy became an alternative medical approach in 1954, when Wehrly and Steinbart first described its application. They found that while the human respiratory tract reacts very negatively to ozone, human blood does not. In fact when exposed to appropriate ozone concentrations, our blood antioxidant capacity counteracts the strong oxidant properties of ozone, thus eliminating any acute side effects.

The benefits derived from this therapy are staggering. For example, Oasis doctors know that ozonation of the blood improves the exchange of oxygen in the blood, activates the immune system, and increases the efficiency of the antioxidant system. But what is most exciting to us is how these three activities combine to effectively retard or reverse tumor growth.

Over the last seventeen years, doctors at Oasis have advanced the use of ozone therapy, and the results have been extraordinary. Our patients have experienced measurable tumor reduction quickly, sometimes in as little as two weeks for long-term results, we still believe that slower acting metabolic therapy is vital, but it is wonderful to get fast results too. Indeed, ozone provokes a cascade of effects when it is introduced into the bloodstream.

How does ozone therapy work?

This section gets a bit technical, but we've put it here because it's so fundamental to our understanding.

Ozone decomposes in blood and interacts immediately with several substances: fatty acids, cholesterols, proteins, and carbohydrates. When the ozone decomposes, a series of reactive oxygen species are quickly produced, the most important of which is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

A sudden rise in H2O2 concentration triggers very different biochemical activity depending upon the type of cell the H2O2 penetrates. If the H2O2 penetrates red cells and endothelial cells, three things happen.

First, there is an increase in the delivery and release of oxygen by red cells toward the tissues, especially hypoxic tumor areas.

Second, in areas of the system that were constricted, endo-thelial cells enhance release of nitric oxide (NO), resulting in dilation of blood vessels and improving oxygen flow.

Third, the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) is inhibited due to improved oxygenation in the neoplastic tissue.

Ozone is an oxidant and provokes a natural antioxidant effect that prepares the body for oxidant therapies and reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The oxidation also unleashes a beneficial immune chain reaction in favor of the patient.

In recent years, more and more research is being conducted in the area of ozonated oxygen that suggests it could be an important element in the treatment of cancer. One such study concluded that increasing the partial pressure of oxygen in tumors may in fact reduce the formation of new blood vessels, a process that is called angiogenesis. This can result in a significant slowing of tumor growth.

Remember, tumors feed on blood vessels. Thus, anything that reduces the formation of blood vessels helps to restrain tumor growth.

When H2O2 penetrates cells known as leukocytes, it induces the production of specialized biological assassins called cytokines. These include interleukins, interferon, and tumor necrosis factor The cytokines launch an array of immune functions, such as macrophages and neutrophils, which slow tumor growth and metastasis.

The presence of H2O2 in the blood increases the efficiency with which the body eliminates oxidants. We know that persistent oxidative stress from free radicals, or oxidants, is at the root of degenerative diseases such as cancer. Countless findings show that aging, chronic viral infections, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases are all accompanied by reductions in the body's ability to detoxify itself properly.

Without question, ozone therapy will rapidly become an essential tool for oncologists and an integral part of comprehensive treatment programs. Over the next few years, Oasis of Hope doctors will continue to refine its use, and I expect even more dramatic results.


Ultraviolet Light

Researchers began to consider the use of ultraviolet light to treat disease in the 1870's.
At that time, scientists understood that ultraviolet light was extremely efficient at eliminating bacteria. Dr. Niels Ryberg Finsen and several other prominent physicians of that era suggested using ultraviolet light to destroy infectious organisms in the blood. Finsen was one of the first researchers to irradiate blood with ultraviolet light. In 1903, he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work in treating the blood of three hundred lupus patients with ultraviolet light.

The next major innovation in the therapy came in 1928, when American researchers E. Knott and V. Hancock used a device that made extracorporeal ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) possible. They conducted the first successful treatment of septic infection with the therapy. Later work revealed that ultraviolet light has a positive influence on the immune, respiratory, and hormonal systems.

So why has it been regarded as a new therapy? Sadly, the answer is all too clear. A host of new antibiotics and vaccines were introduced in the 1950s. The medical industry was so enthusiastic to use these products because for many illnesses, such as hepatitis and pneumonia, UVBI treatment was clearly superior. Thankfully, interest in UVBI therapy was rekindled two decades later in Russia.

How is the ultraviolet light treatment administered?

Two pieces of equipment are needed to administer extracorporeal UVBI therapy. The first, obviously, is a source of ultraviolet light. The second is an irradiation chamber made from quartz glass, which is permeable for ultraviolet radiation.

The standard procedure is known as the Knott technique, which uses the following steps:

  1. Doctors draw 1.5 ml of blood per pound of body weight, never exceeding 250 ml. The blood is drawn into a trans-fusion flask containing a small amount of an anticoagulant, such as heparin or citrate. This additive prevents clot from forming in the bottle or the tubing.

  2. The blood is pumped through the special tubing at a controlled rate (approximate 0.5 ml/sec). The blood flows through an irradiation chamber, called a cuvette, where it is exposed for up to ten seconds to a controlled amount of ultraviolet irradiation in a therapeutic band, generated by specialized lamps.

  3. When the correct amount of blood has been irradiated and stored in a flask, the flow is reversed and the blood is irradiated a second time as it returns to the body.

  4. In addition to the "standard" three steps above, at the Oasis of Hope an extra step is added. Blood is ozonized just before reinfusion, because the combined effectiveness of the two therapies is greater than if they were administered separately.

The entire procedure takes thirty minutes. This includes ten minutes for setup and ten minutes for cleanup. The new devices at Oasis use disposable crystal reaction chambers and disposable tubing to avoid using potentially contaminated materials.

The treatment variables can be tailored to the needs of each patient. Some patients receive treatment daily; others, weekly. Some patient's treat 100 ml blood each session; others up to 250 ml. The best thing about the therapy is how it works. During the early years of UVBI therapy, Dr. E. K. Knott and his associates sought to explain how the treatment obtains its therapeutic effects.

Research has identified two probable modes:

  1. The first explanation is that the ultraviolet irradiation destroys bacteria and viruses in the extracted blood and creates a kind of "vaccination effect." In other words, when the irradiated blood returns to the body, the immune system identifies the dead bacteria and viruses in it. It then seeks out and destroys the same bacteria and viruses in the nonirradiated blood in the rest of the body.
  2. The second explanation is that when the small fraction of irradiated blood is reinfused, it begins to spread throughout the entire volume of blood in the body. These irradiated blood cells give off secondary radiation destroys viruses, bacteria, and toxins. In addition, it activates white blood cells. Strong evidence strongly suggests that UVBI therapy has a prophylactic action against cancer. A study in East Germany measured the number of mutations produced by chromosomes. After six sessions of UVBI therapy, researchers found that the number of chromosomal mutations diminished. These doctors believe that UVBI therapy can actually stimulate DNA repair.
    Compared to orthodox treatments, UVBI therapy is extremely safe. A Russian study of 2,380 sessions of UVBI therapy revealed that only 1.2 percent of patients experienced side effects and that the side effects were mild. The potential benefits clearly outweigh the slight potential of mild side effects.

At Oasis of Hope Hospital we combine ozonation with UV irradiation of the blood. On one hand, irradiation of the blood begins the process of transforming monocytes into immature dendritic cells. On the other, it is known that oxidative stress generated during ozonation and UV irradiation of the blood, or HBOT, at the moment of reinfusion promotes maturation of dendritic cells.

The mechanical stress to which the white blood cells (known as monocytes) are subjected during the procedure induces them to convert into dendritic antigen-presenting cells. These are the cells that initiate immune reactions by identifying targets for the immune system.

Ultimately, the various applications of ultraviolet light as an antitumor agent are very exciting. Doctors at the Oasis hope that more and more cancer treatment facilities will incorporate emerging therapies such as UVBI and HBOT into the programs. These therapies are incredibly effective, and they do not destroy the immune system or compromise the emotional health of the patient.

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