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).
Chuai Y, Zhao L, Ni J, Sun D, Cui J, Li B, et al. A possible prevention strategy of radiation pneumonitis: combine radiotherapy with aerosol inhalation of hydrogen-rich solution. Med Sci Monit. 2011 Apr;17(4):HY1-4.