Hydrogen is a new method for the treatment of lung cancer.

“H2 inhibited cell viability, migration and invasion, and catalyzed cell apoptosis and H2 induced A549 and H1975 cells G2/M arrest. Besides, H2 down-regulated the expression of NIBPL, SMC3, SMC5 and SMC6, and also reduced the expression of Cyclin D1, CDK4 and CDK6. In addition, inhibition of the proliferation, migration and invasion and promotion of the apoptosis of A549 and H1975 cells induced by H2 were all abolished when overexpressed SMC3 in the presence of H2. Animal experimental assay demonstrated that the tumor weight in H2 group was significantly smaller than that in control group. All data suggested that H2 inhibited lung cancer progression through down-regulating SMC3, a regulator for chromosome condensation, which provided a new method for the treatment of lung cancer.”[1]

Oxidative stress in the cell results from the strong oxidizing potential of excess reactive oxygen species (ROS). Acute oxidative stress may result from various conditions, such as vigorous exercise, inflammation, ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury, surgical bleeding, and tissue transplantation. Chronic/persistent oxidative stress is closely related to the pathogenesis of many lifestyle-related diseases, aging, and cancer.

Hydrogen is the most perfect medicine for oxidative stress. Hydrogen therapy takes down the fires of inflammation; thus, we can see another reason why hydrogen is a serious medicine for cancer. The story of hydrogen as a medicine officially began in 2007 when Ohsawa and colleagues discovered that H2 has antioxidant properties that protect the brain against I/R injury and stroke by selectively neutralizing hydroxyl radicals.[2] However, as we saw above, scientists were on hydrogens tail decades earlier.

If H2 reduces oxidative stress, then we can also say H2 protects DNA because oxidative stress damages cellular DNA which leads to mutations. ROS cause oxidative DNA and protein damage as well as damage to tumor suppressor genes. Unlike other antioxidants which are larger, the tiny size of H2 molecules allows them to penetrate bio-membranes and diffuse into the mitochondria and nuclei thereby protecting the nuclear DNA and mitochondria.

ROS cause damages to cell structures via oxidative stress. While a cancer drug like Cisplatin is effective in killing bad cancer cells, it also caused harm to other cells in your body through oxidative stress. Hence, the question is how do you prevent good cells in your body from being killed while the cancer drug is doing its job to kill the cancer cells? The answer is hydrogen gas to introduce continuous antioxidant protection to reduce the oxidative stress to the good non-cancerous cells in your body. And interesting enough we find research that says that molecular hydrogen alleviates nephrotoxicity induced by an anti-cancer drug cisplatin without compromising anti-tumor activity in mice.[3]

It has been reported that human tumor cells produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) more abundantly than non-transformed cell lines, and an elevated oxidative stress has been found in many different types of cancer cells. In fact, many evidences suggest that ROS are related to diverse abilities of cancer cells which increase cell proliferation, DNA synthesis, survival, cellular migration, invasion, tumor metastasis and angiogenesis.[4] So anything that will reduce ROS on a consistent enough basis is going to be ideal for cancer treatment.

Hydrogen has been shown to suppress VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), a key mediator of tumor angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels), by the reduction of excessive ROS (oxidative stress) and through the down regulation of ERK (key growth factor needed for cellular division).

[1] Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Aug;104:788-797. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.05.055. Epub 2018 May 29.

Hydrogen gas inhibits lung cancer progression through targeting SMC3.

[2] Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals.

Ohsawa I, Ishikawa M, Takahashi K, Watanabe M, Nishimaki K, Yamagata K, Katsura K, Katayama Y, Asoh S, Ohta S. Nat Med. 2007 Jun; 13(6):688-94.

[3] Molecular hydrogen alleviates nephrotoxicity induced by an anti-cancer drug cisplatin without compromising anti-tumor activity in mice Published 2008 in Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology