Treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with very low levels of amplitude-modulated electromagnetic fields

F. P. Costa, A. C. De Oliveira, R. Meirelles, M. C.C. MacHado, T. Zanesco, R. Surjan, M. C. Chammas, M. De Souza Rocha, D. Morgan, A. Cantor, J. Zimmerman, I. Brezovich, N. Kuster, A. Barbault, B. Pasche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: 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. Methods: 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 HCC and limited therapeutic options. Three-daily 60-min 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 6 months. Secondary efficacy end points were progression-free survival and overall survival. Results: Treatment was well tolerated and there were no NCI grade 2, 3 or 4 toxicities. In all, 14 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. Conclusion: Treatment with intrabuccally administered amplitude-modulated electromagnetic fields is safe, well tolerated, and shows evidence of antitumour effects in patients with advanced HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-648
Number of pages9
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 23 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 27.12 MHz
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • phase II study
  • radiofrequency electromagnetic fields
  • tumour-specific modulation frequencies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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