Background and purpose: A randomised controlled trial of hyperbaric oxygen in the radiotherapy of Stage IIb and III carcinoma of cervix was performed between 1971 and 1980. Apart from an abstract giving an interim report in 1977, results have not been published.
Material and methods: In a four arm study, 335 patients were randomised to treatment in 10 or 28 fractions, in hyperbaric oxygen or in air. Data is available concerning 327 cases and this has been analysed.
Results: There was no advantage in tumour control shown with the use of hyperbaric oxygen. There was evidence for an increase in late radiation morbidity when treatment was given in hyperbaric oxygen rather than in air and when, using 10 fractions, a total dose of 45 rather than 40 Gy was achieved. For late intestinal morbidity, the fractionation sensitivity (alpha/beta ratio) was calculated to be 4.3 Gy and the steepness of the dose response curve (gamma50) to be 2.6.
Conclusions: Hyperbaric oxygen gave no benefit in the treatment of patients with stage IIb and III carcinoma of the cervix treated with radiotherapy using two fractionation regimes. Important data regarding late radiation morbidity has been revealed.