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Jeff Sutherland

Twice the Energy with Half the Stress

Cancer Treatment with Electromagnetic Fields Moving Into Mainstream Medicine

British Journal of Cancer (2012) 106, 241–242. doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.576
Published online 17 January 2012
Treating cancer with amplitude-modulated electromagnetic fields: a potential paradigm shift, again?
C F Blackman
Integrated Systems Toxicology Division (B-105-03), US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
Correspondence: Dr CF Blackman, E-mail: [email protected]
The Zimmerman et al (2012) study published here, coupled with the group’s two preceding papers (Barbault et al, 2009; Costa et al, 2011), identify a potential modality for treating tumours at a dramatic reduction in trauma and cost. This set of clinical and explanatory laboratory results should be understood in the context of the history of research into the biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
The most successful clinical application is the use of EMF to initiate fusion in fractured long bones that would not otherwise heal. Pulsed fields were designed to simulate the natural piezoelectric signals generated from bones under varying stress while walking (e.g., Bassett, 1985). There are also other reports that EMF can reduce pain and stimulate wound healing after surgery.
The group’s two previous clinical reports were critical to the design of this new Zimmerman et al study. Barbault et al (2009) described how they obtained the specific frequencies for different tumour diagnoses, which are then used in the amplitude-modulated (AM)-EMF treatment of those patients to stabilise the disease beyond normal expectations. Costa et al (2011) reported surprising clinical benefits from using the specific AM-EMF signals to treat advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, stabilising the disease and even producing partial responses up to 58 months in a subset of the patients. Now Zimmerman et al have examined the growth rate of human tumour cell lines from liver and breast cancers along with normal cells from those tissues exposed to AM-EMF. Reduced growth rate was observed for tumour cells exposed to tissue-specific AM-EMF, but no change in growth rate in normal cells derived from the same tissue type, or in tumour or normal cells from the other tissue type. The growth rate inhibitory response was field-strength (SAR) and exposure-time dependent. In ancillary tests, they observed reduction in gene expression and increases in mitotic spindle dysfunction only for the AM-EMF exposure that reduced the cell growth rate.
The work of Zimmerman et al, Costa et al and Barbault et al was not done in a vacuum. More than 30 years ago, Suzanne Bawin working in Ross Adey’s lab (Bawin et al, 1975), with independent replication by my group (Blackman et al, 1979), demonstrated that biological effects could be caused by certain AM frequencies on a carrier wave but not other frequencies, similar to the current work. Subsequent reports in the 1980s by several groups continued to support and extend the initial findings (Adey, 1992; Blackman, 1992). Read more …