Treatment with ozone/oxygen-pneumoperitoneum results in complete remission of rabbit squamous cell carcinomas

Int J Cancer. 2008 May 15;122(10):2360-7. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23382.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) represent a group of metastasizing tumors with a high mortality rate in man and animals. Since the biomolecule ozone was found to inhibit growth of various carcinoma cells in vitro we here applied the highly aggressive and lethal VX2 carcinoma HNSCC tumor model of the New Zealand White rabbit to test whether ozone exerts antitumorous effects in vivo. Therapeutic insufflation of medical ozone/oxygen (O(3)/O(2)) gas mixture into the peritoneum (O(3)/O(2)-pneumoperitoneum) at an advanced stage of tumor disease led to a survival rate of 7/14 rabbits. Six of the seven surviving rabbits presented full tumor regression and the absence of local or distant lung metastases. Insufflation of pure oxygen (O(2)) resulted in a survival rate of 3/13 animals accompanied by full tumor remission in 2 of the 3 surviving animals. Of the 14 sham-treated animals only 1 had spontaneous tumor remission and survived. No adverse effects or changes in standard blood parameters were observed after repeated intraperitoneal insufflations of the O(3)/O(2) or O(2) gas. Animals with O(3)/O(2)-induced tumor eradication developed tolerance against reimplantation of the VX2 tumor. This could be reversed by immune suppression with a combination of dexamethasone and cyclosporin A suggesting an antitumorous effect of O(3)/O(2)-mediated activation of the body's own immunosurveillance. Although the exact mechanisms of action are still unclear the present data point to O(3)/O(2)-pneumoperitoneum as a promising new strategy in anticancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Weight
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / prevention & control*
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Oxygen / therapeutic use*
  • Ozone / therapeutic use*
  • Pneumoperitoneum*
  • Rabbits
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Rate


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Ozone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cyclosporine
  • Oxygen