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Non-thermal membrane effects of electromagnetic fields and therapeutic applications in oncology

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Item Type:Article
Title:Non-thermal membrane effects of electromagnetic fields and therapeutic applications in oncology
Creators Name:Wust, P. and Stein, U. and Ghadjar, P.
Abstract:The temperature-independent effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been controversial for decades. Here, we critically analyze the available literature on non-thermal effects of radiofrequency (RF) and microwave EMF. We present a literature review of preclinical and clinical data on non-thermal antiproliferative effects of various EMF applications, including conventional RF hyperthermia (HT, cRF-HT). Further, we suggest and evaluate plausible biophysical and electrophysiological models to decipher non-thermal antiproliferative membrane effects. Available preclinical and clinical data provide sufficient evidence for the existence of non-thermal antiproliferative effects of exposure to cRF-HT, and in particular, amplitude modulated (AM)-RF-HT. In our model, transmembrane ion channels function like RF rectifiers and low-pass filters. cRF-HT induces ion fluxes and AM-RF-HT additionally promotes membrane vibrations at specific resonance frequencies, which explains the non-thermal antiproliferative membrane effects via ion disequilibrium (especially of Ca(2+)) and/or resonances causing membrane depolarization, the opening of certain (especially Ca(2+)) channels, or even hole formation. AM-RF-HT may be tumor-specific owing to cancer-specific ion channels and because, with increasing malignancy, membrane elasticity parameters may differ from that in normal tissues. Published literature suggests that non-thermal antiproliferative effects of cRF-HT are likely to exist and could present a high potential to improve future treatments in oncology.
Keywords:Non-Thermal Effects, Electromagnetic Fields, Radio Frequency, Amplitude Modulation, Hyperthermia
Source:International Journal of Hyperthermia
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Page Range:715-731
Date:28 April 2021
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2021.1914354
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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