fizzy driinks
fizzy driinksReuters

Fizzy drinks rich in oxygen may be beneficial for cancer treatment and could be used to treat those cancers, which do not respond to conventional radiotherapy and drugs.

Researchers at the Oxford and Ulster universities, who are working on this breakthrough project, said that patients suffering from hard-to-treat cancers may particularly benefit from these drinks, if they succeed human trials, the BBC reported.

The proposal has already won a Cancer Research UK award for ideas "outside the box."

Scientists have long known that cancerous tissues or tumours survive with less oxygen supply as compared to the healthy (normal) tissues.

The tumours continuously grow and expand, which weakens the blood vessels supplying oxygen to these cancerous cells. The cancerous tissues seem to adjust well under the limited oxygen supply conditions, whereas normal cells would not be able to survive in such conditions. This makes the treatment of such cancers difficult, according to the Times.

Scientists are therefore optimistic that a drink rich in oxygen micro-bubbles could deliver oxygen to these tumours, which may later respond well to various treatments.

Eleanor Stride of Oxford University was quoted by the BBC as saying that the limited oxygen supply makes cancer cells "go into survival mode" making them hard to beat and less responsive to radiotherapy and drugs.

"This is a particular problem for hard-to-treat cancers such as tumours of the pancreas," she said.

The researchers have already conducted a small clinical trial of the oxygenated drink in mice and found that injecting oxygen in mice made them more responsive to chemotherapy.

They are now planning to repeat the experiment on a large scale in mice before trying them on humans.

"I wouldn't suggest people rush out to buy any drinks claiming to be rich in oxygen. We are at an early stage - there is still a lot of engineering and thought that will have to go into this to make it work," Stride was quoted by the BBC as saying.