The Oxygen multistep therapy according to Manfred von Ardenne (SMT, engl. cancer multistep therapy) is a pseudo-medicinal method from the spectrum of oxygen therapies, which was developed by Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Manfred von Ardenne (20. January 1907, Hamburg – 26. May 1997, Dresden) was invented.
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Manfred von Ardenne
Originally, von Ardenne had made a name for himself through inventions in the field of radio and television technology as well as electron optics. In 1925, thanks to help from the family circle and without having reached the Abitur, he enrolled at the University of Berlin and began to study physics, chemistry and mathematics. However, he dropped out of his studies after four semesters and turned to private research in the field of applied physics as an autodidact. He worked until the end of II. He worked as a physicist in Berlin during World War II, was then deported to the Soviet Union and worked on military nuclear research projects in Sukhumi (Caucasus). In 1956, he became the director of the institute in Dresden, which was established according to his ideas and named after him. In 1959, he switched from physical research to cancer research and published his basic concept of cancer multistep therapy in 1965, from which he later derived the treatment concept of oxygen multistep therapy (SMT).
The therapy concept
According to von Ardenne, the concept of SMT is as follows: The selective and optimized acidification of cancerous tissue, which is achieved by a "many-hour increase in blood glucose concentration." by means of an intravenous infusion of glucose, the simultaneous generation of a local hyperthermia of 42 °Celsius and the application of pure oxygen in the respiratory air. In the course of time von Ardenne changed his method several times. In the end, he even completely abandoned the O2 multistep therapy, which had previously been considered indispensable.
The SMT is not a therapy of the scientific, academic medicine. To date, there are neither controlled randomized trials nor prospective studies with an adequate comparison group on SMT. Existing studies were only carried out on questions of an early clinical trial and partly show considerable methodological deficiencies. They only cover small collectives of individual oncological indications or case series of very different tumors. None of the studies could provide evidence of therapeutic benefit under sole or concomitant systemic cancer multistep therapy. Accordingly, this method is not mentioned in German and international guidelines on treatment procedures in oncology.
Inhalation of pure oxygen through a breathing mask under normal pressure conditions cannot increase the oxygen concentration in the blood as a whole or in the red blood cells in healthy individuals with normal lung function. This is due to the fact that the affinity of molecular oxygen for the iron-containing region of the hemoglobin molecule in the erythrocyte is so strong that even at low oxygen levels in the ambient air (below 19.5%), the hemoglobin molecule is almost completely (99-100%) saturated with oxygen. This occurs during the passage of the erythrocytes through the lung tissue, which lasts only a few seconds. The oxygen content circulating freely in the blood serum is always the same under normal pressure conditions and cannot be increased to any appreciable extent by increasing the oxygen during respiratory mask ventilation. This would be irrelevant anyway, because an increased oxygen content in the blood serum plays no role in cellular respiration. Cells absorb their oxygen in chemically bound form (in hemoglobin) through erythrocytes.
The only way to increase the oxygen content in the blood serum is to place the patient in a pressure chamber, significantly increase the air pressure and increase the oxygen concentration in the chamber air. Only then there is an increase in the concentration of oxygen in the serum, but not in the saturation of hemoglobin in the red blood cells, because this is already saturated to the maximum beforehand.
In Germany, von Ardenne’s theses were supported by the SMT Society in Oberhausen. This made his ideas popular in medical circles and among alternative practitioners. The oxygen multistep therapy is not mentioned in the current therapy guidelines for cancer diseases.  The Working Committee on Medical Treatment In 2004, the Federal Committee of Doctors and Health Insurers consequently classified SMT according to Ardenne as non-reimbursable in the area of statutory health insurance.  The method lacks credible proof of effectiveness and health insurance companies are not required to fund unproven methods.
Tolerability and side effects
In the literature existing to the topic one finds references to serious complications.
Oxygen inhalation, for example, can lead to impaired consciousness, coma, respiratory arrest and seizures, among other things, if used improperly. This form of treatment is contraindicated in certain lung diseases (emphysema, overt tuberculosis).
Notice: The oxygen multi-step therapy according to Ardenne, often abbreviated as SMT, is not to be confused with the alternative medical gentle manual therapy according to Graulich.