BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Sarcomas are commonly managed by surgical resection combined with radiotherapy. Sarcoma treatment is frequently complicated by chronic wounds and late radiation tissue injury (LRTI). This study aims to gain insight in the use and results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for radiation-induced complications following sarcoma treatment.
METHODS: All sarcoma patients treated between 2006 and 2017 in one of the five centers of the Institute for Hyperbaric Oxygen in the Netherlands were included for retrospective analysis.
RESULTS: Thirty patients were included, 18 (60.0%) patients were treated for chronic wounds and 12 (40.0%) for LRTI. Two patients with chronic wounds were excluded from analysis as HBOT was discontinued within five sessions. In 11 of 16 (68.8%) patients treated for chronic wounds, improved wound healing was seen. Nine of 12 (75.0%) patients treated for LRTI reported a decline in pain. Reduction of fibrosis was seen in five of eight patients (62.5%) treated for LRTI.
CONCLUSIONS: HBOT is safe and beneficial for treating chronic wounds and LRTI in the sarcoma population. Awaiting further prospective results, we recommend referring to HBOT centers more actively in patients experiencing impaired wound healing or symptoms of delayed radiation-induced tissue injury following multimodality sarcoma treatment.