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09/08/2011

Treatment of Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Very Low Levels of Amplitude-Modulated Electromagnetic Fields

Frederico P. Costa, André Cosme de Oliveira, Roberto Meirelles, Marcel C.C. Machado, Tatiana Zanesco, Rodrigo Surjan, Maria Cristina Chammas, Manoel de Souza Rocha, Desiree Morgan, Alan Cantor, Jacquelyn Zimmerman, Ivan Brezovich, Niels Kuster, Alexandre Barbault, and Boris Pasche, British Journal of Cancer, Volume 105, Number 5, pp. 640–648, August 23, 2011. Online August 9


Therapeutic options for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are limited. There is emerging evidence that the growth of cancer cells may be altered by very low levels of electromagnetic fields modulated at specific frequencies. A single-group, open-label, phase I/II study was performed to assess the safety and effectiveness of the intrabuccal administration of very low levels of electromagnetic fields amplitude-modulated at HCC-specific frequencies in 41 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and limited therapeutic options. Three daily 60 minute outpatient treatments were administered until disease progression or death. Imaging studies were performed every 8 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was progression-free survival (PFS) ≥ 6 months. Secondary efficacy end points were progression-free survival and overall survival (OS).  Treatment was well tolerated and there were no NCI grade 2, 3 or 4 toxicities. Fourteen patients (34.1%) had stable disease for more than 6 months. Median progression-free survival was 4.4 months (95% CI 2.1-5.3) and median overall survival was 6.7 months (95% CI 3.0-10.2).  There were three partial and one near complete responses.

The scientific and technical impact of the study can be summarized as:

  • This study provides supporting evidence that the growth of cancer cells may be altered by very low levels of electromagnetic fields modulated at specific frequencies
  • Treatment with intrabuccally-administered amplitude-modulated electromagnetic fields is safe, well tolerated, and shows evidence of antitumor effects in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
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