Arch Biochem Biophys. 2010 May;497(1-2):82-9. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Nanosecond pulsed electric fields stimulate apoptosis without release of pro-apoptotic factors from mitochondria in B16f10 melanoma.

Ford WE, Ren W, Blackmore PF, Schoenbach KH, Beebe SJ.

Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA.


Nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) eliminates B16f10 melanoma in mice, but cell death mechanisms and kinetics of molecular events of cell death are not fully characterized. Treatment of B16f10 cells in vitro resulted in coordinate increases in active caspases with YO-PRO-1 uptake, calcium mobilization, decreases in mitochondria membrane potential with decreases in forward light scatter (cell size), increases in ADP/ATP ratio, degradation of actin cytoskeleton and membrane blebbing. However, there was no mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, AIF or Smac/DIABLO or generation of reactive oxygen species. Phosphatidylserine externalization was absent and propidium iodide uptake was delayed in small populations of cells. The results indicate that nsPEFs rapidly recruit apoptosis-like mechanisms through the plasma membrane, mimicking the extrinsic apoptosis pathway without mitochondrial amplification yet include activation of initiator and executioner caspases. nsPEFs provide a new cancer therapy that can bypass cancer-associated deregulation of mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in B16f10 melanoma.

Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Feb;86(2):79-88.

Growth of injected melanoma cells is suppressed by whole body exposure to specific spatial-temporal configurations of weak intensity magnetic fields.

Hu JH, St-Pierre LS, Buckner CA, Lafrenie RM, Persinger MA.

Department of Biology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.


PURPOSE: To measure the effect of exposure to a specific spatial-temporal, hysiologically-patterned electromagnetic field presented using different geometric configurations on the growth of experimental tumours in mice.

METHODS: C57b male mice were inoculated subcutaneously with B16-BL6 melanoma cells in two blocks of experiments separated by six months (to control for the effects of geomagnetic field). The mice were exposed to the same time-varying electromagnetic field nightly for 3 h in one of six spatial configurations or two control conditions and tumour growth assessed.

RESULTS: Mice exposed to the field that was rotated through the three spatial dimensions and through all three planes every 2 sec did not grow tumours after 38 days. However, the mice in the sham-field and reference controls showed massive tumours after 38 days. Tumour growth was also affected by the intensity of the field, with mice exposed to a weak intensity field (1-5 nT) forming smaller tumours than mice exposed to sham or stronger, high intensity (2-5 microT) fields. Immunochemistry of tumours from those mice exposed to the different intensity fields suggested that alterations in leukocyte infiltration or vascularisation could contribute to the differences in tumour growth.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to specific spatial-temporal regulated electromagnetic field configurations had potent effects on the growth of experimental tumours in mice.

Melanoma Res. 2009 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Histopathology of normal skin and melanomas after nanosecond pulsed electric field treatment.

Chen X, James Swanson R, Kolb JF, Nuccitelli R, Schoenbach KH.

aDepartment of Hepatobiliary Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China bFrank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics cDepartment of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.


Nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) can affect the intracellular structures of cells in vitro. This study shows the direct effects of nsPEFs on tumor growth, tumor volume, and histological characteristics of normal skin and B16-F10 melanoma in SKH-1 mice. A melanoma model was set up by injecting B16-F10 into female SKH-1 mice. After a 100-pulse treatment with an nsPEF (40-kV/cm field strength; 300-ns duration; 30-ns rise time; 2-Hz repetition rate), tumor growth and histology were studied using transillumination, light microscopy with hematoxylin and eosin stain and transmission electron microscopy. Melanin and iron within the melanoma tumor were also detected with specific stains. After nsPEF treatment, tumor development was inhibited with decreased volumes post-nsPEF treatment compared with control tumors (P<0.05). The nsPEF-treated tumor volume was reduced significantly compared with the control group (P<0.01). Hematoxylin and eosin stain and transmission electron microscopy showed morphological changes and nuclear shrinkage in the tumor. Fontana-Masson stain indicates that nsPEF can externalize the melanin. Iron stain suggested nsPEF caused slight hemorrhage in the treated tissue. Histology confirmed that repeated applications of nsPEF disrupted the vascular network. nsPEF treatment can significantly disrupt the vasculature, reduce subcutaneous murine melanoma development, and produce tumor cell contraction and nuclear shrinkage while concurrently, but not permanently, damaging peripheral healthy skin tissue in the treated area, which we attribute to the highly localized electric fields surrounding the needle electrodes.

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2009;55(1):25-32. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Evaluation of the potential in vitro antiproliferative effects of millimeter waves at some therapeutic frequencies on RPMI 7932 human skin malignant melanoma cells.

Beneduci A.

Department of Chemistry, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, Cubo 17/D, Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy.


The potential antiproliferative effects of low power millimeter waves (MMWs) at 42.20 and 53.57 GHz on RPMI 7932 human skin melanoma cells were evaluated in vitro in order to ascertain if these two frequencies, comprised in the range of frequency used in millimeter wave therapy, would have a similar effect when applied in vivo to malignant melanoma tumours. Cells were exposed for 1 h exposure/day and to repeated exposure up to a total of four treatments. Plane wave incident power densities <1 mW/cm(2) were used in the MMWs-exposure experiments so that the radiations did not cause significant thermal effects. Numerical simulations of Petri dish reflectivity were made using the equations for the reflection coefficient of a multilayered system. Such analysis showed that the power densities transmitted into the aqueous samples were < or = 0.3 mW/cm(2). Two very important and general biological endpoints were evaluated in order to study the response of melanoma cells to these radiations, i.e. cell proliferation and cell cycle. Herein, we show that neither cell doubling time nor the cell cycle of RPMI 7932 cells was affected by the frequency of the GHz radiation and duration of the exposure, in the conditions above reported.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 May 5;343(2):351-60. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Nanosecond pulsed electric fields cause melanomas to self-destruct.

Nuccitelli R, Pliquett U, Chen X, Ford W, James Swanson R, Beebe SJ, Kolb JF, Schoenbach KH.

Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA.


We have discovered a new, drug-free therapy for treating solid skin tumors. Pulsed electric fields greater than 20 kV/cm with rise times of 30 ns and durations of 300 ns penetrate into the interior of tumor cells and cause tumor cell nuclei to rapidly shrink and tumor blood flow to stop. Melanomas shrink by 90% within two weeks following a cumulative field exposure time of 120 micros. A second treatment at this time can result in complete remission. This new technique provides a highly localized targeting of tumor cells with only minor effects on overlying skin. Each pulse deposits 0.2 J and 100 pulses increase the temperature of the treated region by only 3 degrees C, ten degrees lower than the minimum temperature for hyperthermia effects.

Anticancer Res. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2A):1023-8.

Frequency and irradiation time-dependant antiproliferative effect of low-power millimeter waves on RPMI 7932 human melanoma cell line.

Beneduci A, Chidichimo G, De Rose R, Filippelli L, Straface SV, Venuta S.

Department of Chemistry, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy.


The biological effects produced by low power millimeter waves (MMW) were studied on the RPMI 7932 human melanoma cell line. Three different frequency-type irradiation modes were used: the 53.57-78.33 GHz wide-band frequency range, the 51.05 GHz and the 65.00 GHz monochromatic frequencies. In all three irradiation conditions, the radiation energy was low enough not to increase the temperature of the cellular samples. Three hours of radiation treatment, applied every day to the melanoma cell samples, were performed at each frequency exposure condition. The wide-band irradiation treatment effectively inhibited cell growth, while both the monochromatic irradiation treatments did not affect the growth trend of RPMI 7932 cells. A light microscopy analysis revealed that the low-intensity wide-band millimeter radiation induced significant morphological alterations on these cells. Furthermore, a histochemical study revealed the low proliferative state of the irradiated cells. This work provides further evidence of the antiproliferative effects on tumor cells induced by low power MMW in the 50-80 GHz frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Bioelectromagnetics. 2004 Oct;25(7):516-23.

Combined millimeter wave and cyclophosphamide therapy of an experimental murine melanoma.

Logani MK, Bhanushali A, Anga A, Majmundar A, Szabo I, Ziskin MC.

Richard J. Fox Center for Biomedical Physics, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.


The objective of the present studies was to investigate whether millimeter wave (MMW) therapy can increase the efficacy of cyclophosphamide (CPA), a commonly used anti-cancer drug. The effect of combined MMW-CPA treatment on melanoma growth was compared to CPA treatment alone in a murine model. MMWs were produced with a Russian made YAV-1 generator. The device produced 42.2 +/- 0.2 GHz modulated wave radiation through a 10 x 20 mm rectangular output horn. The animals, SKH-1 hairless female mice, were irradiated on the nasal area. Peak SAR and incident power density were measured as 730 +/- 100 W/kg and 36.5 +/- 5 mW/cm2, respectively. The maximum skin surface temperature elevation measured at the end of 30 min irradiation was 1.5 degrees C. B16F10 melanoma cells (0.2 x 10(6)) were implanted subcutaneously into the left flank of mice on day 1 of the experiment. On days 4-8, CPA was administered intraperitoneally (30 mg/kg/day). MMW irradiation was applied concurrently with, prior to or following CPA administration. A significant reduction (P < .05) in tumor growth was observed with CPA treatment, but MMW irradiation did not provide additional therapeutic benefit as compared to CPA alone. Similar results were obtained when MMW irradiation was applied both prior to and following CPA treatment.

Bioelectromagnetics. 2004 Sep;25(6):466-73.

Millimeter wave-induced suppression of B16 F10 melanoma growth in mice: involvement of endogenous opioids.

Radzievsky AA, Gordiienko OV, Szabo I, Alekseev SI, Ziskin MC.

Center for Biomedical Physics, Temple University Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.


Millimeter wave treatment (MMWT) is widely used in Eastern European countries, but is virtually unknown in Western medicine. Among reported MMWT effects is suppression of tumor growth. The main aim of the present “blind” and dosimetrically controlled experiments was to evaluate quantitatively the ability of MMWT to influence tumor growth and to assess whether endogenous opioids are involved. The murine experimental model of B16 F10 melanoma subcutaneous growth was used. MMWT characteristics were: frequency, 61.22 GHz; average incident power density, 13.3 x 10(-3) W/cm2; single exposure duration, 15 min; and exposure area, nose. Naloxone (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, 30 min prior to MMWT) was used as a nonspecific blocker of opioid receptors. Five daily MMW exposures, if applied starting at the fifth day following B16 melanoma cell injection, suppressed subcutaneous tumor growth. Pretreatment with naloxone completely abolished the MMWT-induced suppression of melanoma growth. The same course of 5 MMW treatments, if started on day 1 or day 10 following tumor inoculations, was ineffective. We concluded that MMWT has an anticancer therapeutic potential and that endogenous opioids are involved in MMWT-induced suppression of melanoma growth in mice. However, appropriate indications and contraindications have to be developed experimentally before recommending MMWT for clinical usage.

Int J Mol Med. 2002 Dec;10(6):701-5.

Inhibition of lung metastasis of B16 melanoma cells exposed to blue light in mice.

Ohara M, Kawashima Y, Kitajima S, Mitsuoka C, Watanabe H.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Inc., Muya-cho, Naruto, Tokushima 772-8601, Japan.


The effects of blue light on B16 melanoma cells and on the metastasis of these cells to the lungs were investigated in mice. The exposure of B16 melanoma cells to blue light in two 20-min sessions resulted in marked suppression of cell growth measured at 7 days after exposure. When these cells were harvested, re-inoculated into medium and incubated for a further 7 days, their growth activity returned to almost the same level as that of cultured cells from the non-exposure control group. The melanoma cells harvested after 7 days of incubation were injected intravenously into mice. In the non-exposure group, black nodules developed on the lung surface and the nodules increased in size over time. In the blue-light-exposure group, the development of such black nodules on the lung surface was delayed, and the nodules were smaller. Histopathological examination revealed that blue light suppressed the growth of metastatic tumor cells, and no increase in the number of melanin-containing cells or atypical cells was induced in the metastatic lesions. These results suggest that blue light suppresses the metastasis of B16 melanoma cells.