Hydrogen eases side effects of lung cancer medicamentsScientific Research

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original title: Hydrogen therapy can be used to control tumor progression and alleviate the adverse events of medications in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer

1 Fuda Cancer Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou; Fuda Cancer Institute, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
2 Fuda Cancer Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
3 Central Lab, Beijing Cancer Hospital, Beijing, China

DOI: 10.4103/2045-9912.285560

Published on: 05/06/2020


Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy are used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer. There is a lack of clinically effective methods to improve adverse events associated with such therapies. Fifty-eight adult patients participated in our study for relief of pulmonary symptoms or drug side effects. Twenty patients who refused medical treatment were equally allocated and randomly assigned to hydrogen-only (H2) and control groups. Based on tumor gene mutations and drug susceptibility test results, 10, 18, and 10 patients were included in the chemotherapy group, the targeted therapy group, and the immunotherapy group, respectively, where these treatments were combined with H2 therapy, respectively.

Patients inhale H2 4-5 hours a day for 5 months, or stop when cancer recurs. Before the start of the study, there were no significant differences in demographics (except for mutated genes in tumors) and pulmonary symptoms (except for moderate cough) among the five groups. During the first 5 months of treatment, the incidence of symptoms in the control group gradually increased, while the incidence of symptoms in the four treatment groups gradually decreased. After 16 months of follow-up, the progression-free survival in the control group was lower than that in the H2 group alone, and was significantly lower than that in the H2+ chemotherapy group, the H2+ targeted therapy group, and the H2+ immunotherapy group.

In the combination treatment group, most drug-related adverse events gradually decreased or even disappeared. The H2 inhalation method was first discovered clinically and can be used to control tumor progression and reduce drug side effects in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Fuda Cancer Hospital of Jinan University on December 7, 2018 (Approval No. Fuda20181207), and was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov on January 28, 2019 (No. NCT03818347).

Research Conclusion

We found that H2 monotherapy could prolong the PFS of patients with advanced NSCLC from 4.4 ± 1.2 months to 7.9 ± 2.2 months, suggesting that H2 could inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells independently. This hypothesis has been bolstered by data from an in vitro and in vivo study, which confirmed that H2 can inhibit the proliferation, migration, and invasion of the lung-cancer cell lines and tumor growth in mouse model.[53]

These data suggested that H2 could serve as new therapy against lung cancer. However, for patients eligible for first-line treatment, drugs will produce more pronounced effects upon tumor control. Whether a combination of drug therapy and H2 therapy can elicit better tumor control must be studied further, but gradual reduction of most drug-associated adverse events after H2 inhalation is clear.

Original Publication

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