Hydrogen therapy: An emerging therapeutic strategy in cancer treatment? Feb 23,2024.
Molecular mechanisms related to the anti-tumor effects of hydrogen

Currently, several preclinical and clinical studies support the use of hydrogen as a possible therapeutic approach for cancer treatment. The first study demonstrating the antitumor efficacy of hydrogen was published in 1975 by Dole et al., who reported a reduction in squamous cell carcinoma cell growth in a mouse model treated with this gas.

Since then, the antitumor effects of hydrogen have been attributed to different delivery modes in different tumor types, including inhalation, drinking water, injection of hydrogen-saturated saline, and hydrogen-dissolved water baths.

Overall, the results of these studies suggest that the antitumor effects of hydrogen are mediated by different mechanisms, including its ability to modulate intracellular ROS levels as well as some antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione ) the ability to express.

Additionally, hydrogen has been shown to significantly reduce tissue damage caused by acute/chronic inflammation.

The reduction of inflammation relies not only on the antioxidant properties of this molecule (in fact, inflammation is closely related to oxidative stress), but also on its ability to inhibit the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., interleukin-1β, IL-1). -6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interferon-γ) and modulates the activity of the immune system by reducing neutrophil and M1 macrophage infiltration and restoring Treg lymphocytes.

Hydrogen therapy for cancer treatment
The number of studies on hydrogen therapy and its potential applications in cancer treatment has steadily increased since 2017, indicating that this topic is receiving increasing attention in cancer research. Very importantly, in most of these studies, hydrogen administration showed some selectivity for cancer cells relative to normal tissue and had a good safety profile.

Although to date, there are no data on long-term toxicity, side effects associated with excess hydrogen are unlikely to occur due to its ability to selectively react with hydroxyl radicals to form water, which is simultaneously eliminated by exhalation.

These physicochemical properties distinguish hydrogen from other traditional antioxidant molecules, and in humans, effective doses of hydrogen exceed the maximum tolerated dose. There is no doubt that current research is not yet mature enough to draw firm conclusions about the role of hydrogen in cancer treatment. However, the encouraging results obtained in these pilot studies strongly encourage further clinical studies in cancer patients in different settings.
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