Thursday, March 12, 2015

Super Element: Increased levels of oxygen helping to combat cancer

Just as oxygen allows us all to live, can this super element also help to combat one of our worst medical enemies, cancer? When first hearing about how increased levels of oxygen can help to combat cancer, I personally thought, “is there anything this element can’t do?” So I dove further into investigation on just exactly how this super element could possibly help to cure one of our greatest hurdles.

After researching more, I came across a couple of articles that helped to elaborate more on this new phenomenon. As this sensation is still in its developing process, with trials and positive feedback this may truly become a new frontier in medicine.

I first came across an article, “Oxygen Helps Defeat Cancer-PEMF Therapy” published in November of 2014 posted by Dr. Mark Sircus, Director of the International Medical VERITAS Association. This article helped to elaborate on the workings of just how this practice came into play. The most influential statement came from Researchers at The University of Texas MS Anderson Cancer Center. Here they realized a most important key to this developing theory. “They found that important regulatory molecules are decreased when deprived of oxygen, which leads to increased cancer progression in vitro and in vivo.” The article further dove into this subject and brought up the idea of hypoxia, where the body is deprived of oxygen supply, which is exactly what happens when tumors are developed. Here it showed how tumor progression increased when deprived of oxygen. As many would think the opposite would occur because oxygen gives life to us all and with a depletion of its supply you would think it would kill the molecules. However, on the contrary intensifying levels of oxygen will actually do the trick to shrink such tumor cells. Further justifying this, researchers have studied that, “Oxygen makes cancer cells weak and less resistant to treatment. Cancer cells low in oxygen are three times more resistant to radiotherapy.” Dr.Dominic D’Agostino whom is a researcher and assistant professor with the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, has said based upon his research, with the diet/ treatments of cancer patients “cancer is starved”, and thus then “oxygen has a further toxic effect on the cancer cells.” With all doubts of just what pure O2 can do we have now realized that studies, such as the ones being conducted, may hold the key to knock out cancer.

ABC News has also elaborated on this new therapy. Here based upon a study of mice and immune cells, researchers were able to see the effects of increased levels of oxygen on attacking tumor cells. Michail Sitkovsky, director of the New England Inflammation and Tissue Protection Institute at Northeastern University described this new phenomenon as removing “the brake pedal that cancer can put on tumor-fighting immune cells.” The background of this process was additionally elaborated in the article by pharmacologist Edwin Jackson of the University of Pittsburgh. Here he described just how tumor cells work when they are trying to combat cancer. By tumors growing and enhancing so rapidly they out space their blood supply thus ultimately causing the low levels of oxygen in their vicinity. With the levels of oxygen lower than normal this thus then causes cancer cells to develop a molecule called adenosine, “which essentially puts nearby tumor fighters called T cells and natural killer cells to sleep.” With the idea that cancer is able to develop such a molecule that can basically turn off our defense mechanism, it is exciting to finally possibly enable us to fight back.

With all of this information it was time to put it to the test, of course not at first on humans, so medical researchers decided to try it out on mice. With the help of immunotherapy as well, researchers were able to see the positive effects of such increased levels of oxygen on tumor cells in the mice. Although this therapy is still in its trial stages the positive feedback is definitely helping to promote new sightings for cancer research. Additionally the response by other medical researchers to the optimistic turnout of shrinking tumors has led to a desire to research more on this therapy.

Who knew that such a simple idea could have led to discovering new treatments to an impossibly hard disease to cure? With the trials and errors of combating such a process one may come to wonder if we will ever be able to find an ultimate cure? I am hopeful after doing research on oxygen levels fighting cancer that this may be a new therapy that will help to cure such a devastating and life threatening disease. 

 1.) Sircus, Dr. "Oxygen Helps Defeat Cancer - PEMF Therapy." Dr. Sircus. N.p., 06 Nov. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.<>.
 2.) Writer, Lauran Neergaard AP Medical. "Mouse Study Finds Extra Oxygen May Spur Tumor-Fighting Cells." ABC News. ABC News Network, 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.<>.

Image Citation:
1.) "Oxygen Periodic Table Square." ALMA NEWS. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.<>. 


  1. After reading an article that took advantage of the hypoxic characteristics of tumor cells, I thought it was exceedingly interesting that scientists are simultaneously taking advantage of oxygen. I understand that chemotherapy and radiation need an oxygen-rich environment to be most effective; however, in the absence of chemo/radiation I feel as though there must be a strict balance between adding enough oxygen to kill the tumor vs. helping the tumor grow.

  2. The use of oxygen to kill tumor cells is extremely intriguing to me, as it seems so counterintuitive. It really highlights the complexity of cancer and the wide variety of treatments that are continually being discovered. I wonder how soon this new treatment can be tested and used in humans.