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Yunhai Chuai, Luqian Zhao, Jin Ni, Ding Sun, Jianguo Cui, Bailong Li, Liren Qian, Fu Gao, Jianming Cai
Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(4): HY1-4
Radiotherapy is an important modality of cancer treatment. Radiation pneumonitis is a major obstacle to increasing the radiation dose in radiotherapy, and it is important to prevent this radiation-induced complication. Recent studies show that hydrogen has a potential as an effective and safe radioprotective agent by selectively reducing hydroxyl and peroxynitrite radicals. Since most of the ionizing radiation-induced cellular damage is caused by hydroxyl radicals, we hypothesize that a treatment combining radiotherapy with aerosol inhalation of a hydrogen-rich solution may be an effective and novel prevention strategy for radiation pneumonitis (hydrogen is explosive, while a hydrogen-rich solution such as physiological saline saturated with molecular hydrogen is safer).