Breast cancer treatable with electromagnetic fields?

Breast cancer treatable with electromagnetic fields?

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Treating Breast Cancer With Electromagnetic Fields?

Electromagnetic fields can slow the spread of breast cancer and even stop it completely. This opens up entirely new approaches in breast cancer therapy.

Ohio State University's latest investigation found that electromagnetic fields can be used to treat cancer. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Communications Biology".

How cancer spreads in the body

Cancer is by nature an extremely destructive disease. Sometimes the cancer spreads and begins to metastasize. While some cancer cells die in the process, others can cause more tumors. Most treatments are ineffective in curing metastatic cancer, so it's important to find ways to prevent cancer cells from spreading from the outset, the researchers explain. Electromagnetic fields could help.

How did the study work?

The rate of migration of breast cancer varies from person to person and it is therefore almost impossible to calculate how and when cell mutations occur, the research group reports. The Ohio State University team has developed a tool that targets cancer cell migration. They used a so-called Helmholtz coil to evenly supply a number of breast cancer cells with electromagnetic energy. The researchers followed the direction of cell movement using a microscope. The test was carried out in a laboratory. He mimicked what is happening in the body in a controllable environment.

Cells could not spread through an electromagnetic field

It was unclear whether the cells react to electromagnetic fields. The researchers therefore investigated how electromagnetic energy affects the shape and movement of cancer cells. The result: Certain cell types, which normally spread out through the formation of long, thin processes at the edge, were not able to do this if they were affected by a low-intensity electromagnetic field. Upon further investigation, the researchers then found that these cells appeared to recognize the existence of the electromagnetic energy and the direction from which it came.

Metastatic triple negative breast cancer cells responded to energy

The team found that metastatic triple negative breast cancer cells, the most difficult to treat cancer cells, respond most strongly to electromagnetic fields. Metastatic triple negative cancer cells differ from other cancer cells. You have no estrogen or progesterone receptors or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 genes. Many cancer therapies work by blocking one or all of these receptors. If a cancer cell does not have any of these receptors, hormone therapies are ineffective. For example, if a person has triple negative cancer, doctors will use chemotherapy.

More research is needed

The study looked for ways to stop the spread of triple negative cells. The researchers found that the use of electromagnetic energy in combination with specific drug therapies can have a more significant impact, especially when the therapies target cell growth signals transmitted by the AKT protein. Before the technology is tested on humans, the researchers must first check the results in further studies. However, the findings from the study are a decisive step forward, especially with regard to metastatic breast cancer, which causes many cancer deaths, the researchers explain. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Ayush Arpit Garg, Travis H. Jones, Sarah M. Moss, Sanjay Mishra, Kirti Kaul et al .: Electromagneticfields alter the motilityof metastatic breast cancer cells, in Communications Biology (query: 19.08.2019), Communications Biology

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