There is a stark division regarding the pros and cons of ozone therapy for cancer. Proponents of ozone therapy, sometimes called oxygen therapy, believe that it can cure cancer as well as a host of other ailments, based on the therapy's use in Europe. In the US, organizations like the American Cancer Society say that there is no scientific evidence that ozone therapy is effective in treating cancer, and that it may even be dangerous. Ozone therapy is a relatively simply process and does not require the use of drugs. Its supporters believe that it has not made any headway in the US because the American medical profession has become institutionally biased in favor of using drugs and surgery to the exclusion of natural medicine.
The foundation of ozone therapy for cancer stems from the 1930s work of German Biochemist and Nobel laureate Dr. Otto Warburg. Both sides of the debate agree that in his research on respiratory enzymes Dr. Warburg discovered that cancer cells had a lower respiration rate than healthy cells. He found that when the oxygen available to a cell drops below 40% of what is normal for it, it begins to ferment its own sugar. This fermentation shuts off the mechanism that controls cell reproduction, and the oxygen-starved cells begin to replicate uncontrollably.
Warburg reasoned that because cancer cells thrived in a low oxygen environment, increasing oxygen levels in the blood might slow or kill them. Researchers point out that many advances have been made about how cancer cells use oxygen since Warburg first proposed his theory. Even when more oxygen is available for cancerous cells, they will not become healthy again. Higher oxygen levels do not appear to damage cancer cells in any way.
Ozone therapy for cancer involves mixing ozone gas with air or liquids and then administering it in the patient’s body. This is done by injecting the mixture into the muscle or under the skin, or inserting it in pressurized form into the rectum, vagina, or other body openings. There is also a method of introduction called autohemotherapy. Blood is drawn from the patient, filled with an ozone mixture and placed back in the bloodstream. The length of treatments can vary from several weeks to several months.
The benefits of ozone therapy for cancer attributed to it by its proponents are the elimination of cancerous tumors, leukemia, and lymphomas. It is also promoted as a successful treatment for AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver. They point out that ozone therapy has been used around the world for many years for a variety of ailments.
The American Cancer Society notes that research shows that it is difficult to increase the oxygen levels around cancer cells in a tumor, because the blood supply there has been lowered by the disease. Medical literature contains accounts of patient deaths caused by forcing oxygen-releasing agents into the body. More research into the way cancer cells use oxygen, however, may someday allow new treatments to better destroy them.