The first plenary session presented some of the therapeutic applications of electromagnetic fields. Some of the presented data indicated that not only it is possible to use low-level radiofrequency exposures to heal cancer but also confirmed that non-thermal effects exist.
The first two talks by Julie Gehl of the Center for Experimental Drug and Gene Electrotransfer, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Damijan Miklavcic of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, presented the use of electroporation, electro-chemotherapy and electro gene transfer.
Brief electric pulses can cause transient permeabilization of cell membranes that can be used to facilitate delivery of medicines to cells. This kind of treatment is called electro-chemotherapy (ECT). It is currently used for treatment of various cancers in over 100 oncology centers in Europe.
ECT comprises of electric pulses given by electrodes in the tumor tissue, causing electroporation of the cell membranes. This electroporation of cell membranes augments uptake of the cancer drugs. For example the uptake of drug bleomycin is enhanced 300 times by electroporation. Preclinical ECT cancer treatment data are promising. It is predicted that ECT will be useful in treatment of brain cancer (primary and secondary) and soft tissue metastases elsewhere in the body.
Advantages of ECT over traditional radiation therapy and chemotherapy are well presented in this open-access review.
Electro gene transfer is a method of delivery DNA to cells. Electromagnetic radiation helps to attach DNA molecules to the cell membranes. As such DNA is too large molecule to enter cells through electro-pores. However, when attached to the cell surface, DNA can be internalized by cells by endocytosis. Once inside cell, DNA is used by the cell to produce new proteins that are encoded in genes of the transferred DNA. When the DNA is transferred to the long living muscle cells, new genes can be used for production of proteins in different protein deficiency disorders. Because muscle cells live for months the production of proteins is also lasting for months after DNA transfer.
The third, and last, talk was presented by Boris Pasche of the Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham & UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL, USA. In my earlier science blog where I gave my impressions from the 2012 Monte Verita meeting, I wrote about Boris’ research. In short, his research indicates that the biological systems respond only to certain frequencies. The responses are frequency-specific, tumor-specific and genome-specific (individual variability of response between patients). The effects were observed consistently in cells grown in laboratory, in experimental animals (mice) and in cancer patients. It is important to note that this frequency-specific therapy was helping in some patients who otherwise did not respond to more traditional cancer treatments. What is still more exciting is that the effects were obtained at very low SAR and there were no observable side effects. Mechanism of this effect is unknown but effects are replicable.
What is important, at least for me to assure the reliability of Boris’ data, is that the exposures in his experiments are supervised by widely recognized expert – Niels Kuster.
The lack of mechanism for the effect observed by Boris made people “nervous”. At the same time it is difficult, based on the lack of known mechanism, to dismiss Boris’ findings. As Boris himself pointed out it would be time to find out the mechanism for the effect he observes in lab and in clinic “where the demodulation of signal takes place?”.
The other important implication of Boris’ study is that certain frequencies at very low SAR (non-thermal) are able to induce biological effects (e.g. effect on IP3/DAG signaling pathway) and even treat cancer. It means that the non-thermal RF exposures can non-thermally cause biological effects.
I wonder how it is possible that low-level RF effects can be used in practice in clinical treatment but there is a very strong opposition to the notion that cell phone radiation and other wireless exposures could as well induce not-thermal effects in cell phone users.
In clinic the non-thermal effects are observed and cancer patients can be healed but outside of clinic the non-thermal effects “disappear”?
Is it science or is it politics or is it “money talking”?
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