Laurie Gesell, M.D.,Director of the Division of Hyperbaric Medicine in the University of Cincinnati's Department of Emergency Medicine, has pioneered a way of treating these patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
With funding from the NIH
, Dr. Gesell
team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati
(UC) and The Neuroscience Institute set up the Brain Radionecrosis Center
to study not only how well hyperbaric oxygen therapy works, but also the mechanism that enables it to work.If the treatment proves to be as effective as preliminary findings indicate, the team expects to expand its study into a multi-center trial that ultimately could lead to the establishment of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as the main treatment for patients with brain radionecrosis."We have been treating patients with brain radionecrosis for over five years, and it appears to be working," Dr.Gesell said."We think the increased oxygen at pressure promotes the growth of new blood vessels into the injured tissue, helping the healing process.We have designed this study to compare how well hyperbaric oxygen therapy works compared to usual medications, and to find out whether the treatment really is making these new blood vessels grow.If we can show that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is better than medications, and if we can understand how it works, we'll be able to help thousands of patients every year who get radiation therapy for brain tumors."In addition to being the region's only board-certified hyperbaricist, Dr. Gesell is an emergency medicine physician.