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Diving chamber in cancer trials

PUBLISHED: 17:13 24 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:39 06 July 2010

A HOSPITAL'S state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber, which helps divers with the bends, is to be used in a medical trial to aid cancer patients, it was revealed today.

A HOSPITAL'S state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber, which helps divers with the bends, is to be used in a medical trial to aid cancer patients, it was revealed today.

The James Paget Hospital, in Gorleston, is one eight specialist sites that will be involved in a national hyperbaric oxygen therapy trial.

Doctors hope that the 16 tonne chamber's pure oxygen will be able to alleviate any unpleasant side effects associated with radiotherapy for pelvic cancer.

Dr Pieter Bothma, lead clinician at the JPH's hyperbaric chamber, will see if the 30pc of patients who suffer side effects, such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps and frequent bowel movements, will benefit from using the equipment.

The trial will involve 75 patients in London, Cardiff, Chichester, Hull, Plymouth and the Wirral.

Professor John Yarnold, from the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital, is one of the leading scientists and doctors involved in the trial.

He said: “It is very difficult for patients who have already suffered through cancer and radiotherapy to be left with these debilitating side effects.

“We hope to answer once and for all whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy will improve their quality of life.”


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