Radio-wave therapy proves effective against liver cancer cells

May 31, 2019

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - May 31, 2019 - A new targeted therapy using non-thermal radio waves has been shown to block the growth of liver cancer cells anywhere in the body without damaging healthy cells, according to a study conducted by scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health.

The study findings are published in the May 31 online edition of the journal EBioMedicine, a Lancet publication.

Using animal models, the research team headed by Boris Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., chair of cancer biology and director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist, delivered levels of radio frequencies to mice that had been injected with human cancer cells to replicate hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer.

The radio frequencies were the same as those delivered to patients with HCC in Europe where the device has been approved for use in people.

"Our study showed that the radiofrequency delivered was at low and safe levels," Pasche said. "It was actually lower than those generated by holding a cell phone close to the ear."

The research team utilized a device, invented by Pasche and Alexandre Barbault, of TheraBionic GmbH in Ettlingen, Germany, that delivered cancer-specific, amplitude-modulated radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (AM RF EMF) programmed specifically for HCC. The AM RF EMF activated a calcium channel on the surface of HCC tumor cells but not on noncancerous cells, Pasche said.

"We discovered that a specific calcium channel, Cav3.2, was acting like an antenna for the radio signals we sent out, which allowed calcium to penetrate the HCC cell membrane and go into the cell, triggering HCC growth arrest," Pasche said.

"Our team found it was the influx of calcium that stopped the growth of HCC cells and shrunk, and in some cases eliminated, the tumors. This effect was the same even if the cancer had metastasized to other parts of the body."

The team's next step will be to identify the exact signaling cascade within the tumor cell that leads to the anti-cancer effects, Pasche said.

A separate study by Wake Forest Baptist researchers using the same technology with breast cancer cells also is published in the May 31 edition of EBioMedicine.

The device, which is licensed to TheraBionic Inc., formerly TheraBionic LLC, and TheraBionic GmbH, has been approved by the European Notified Body, the equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is currently under review by the FDA. Pasche and Barbault hold stock in TheraBionic Inc. and TheraBionic GmbH.

The treatment, which is approved for use in patients in Europe, consists of a hand-held device about the size of a VHS tape cassette that emits radio frequencies via a spoon-shaped element that is placed on the patient's tongue. The treatment is administered at the patient's home three times a day for one hour. The frequencies used are specific to the patient's type of cancer as identified through tumor biopsies or blood work, Pasche said.

Pasche and Barbault have discovered radio frequencies for 15 different types of cancer, as previously reported in a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research.
-end-
Support for this study was provided by the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA012197 issued to the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center; by the Charles L. Spurr Professorship Fund and by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism R01 AA016852 and P50 AA026117.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.