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Translational Therapeutics

Pilot study on the therapeutic potential of radiofrequency magnetic fields: growth inhibition of implanted tumours in mice


The present study investigated possible therapeutic effects of radiofrequency or hypomagnetic fields on the growth rate of two types of implanted tumours. To this end, mice with implanted fibrosarcoma and pancreatic tumours were exposed continuously to a 2 µT, 10 MHz radiofrequency magnetic field (MF) perpendicular to a 45 µT static MF or to a hypomagnetic (~0.4–1 µT) field. The reasoning for a 10 MHz treatment was based on a current theoretical explanation for MF effects, which predicts a resonance phenomenon in this frequency range. Radiofrequency MFs reduced consistently the growth rate of two implanted tumour types (by ~30% in both cases). Also, hypomagnetic field hindered tumour growth in both tumour types, but the observation was not statistically significant with fibrosarcoma tumours. In conclusion, although experiments included a limited number of animals, the results indicate that MFs may offer a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of cancer.

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Fig. 1: The effects of radiofrequency (RF) magnetic fields (MFs) and hypomagnetic field (HMF) on the volume of implanted tumors in mice.


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We thank Lucas Portelli for his great technical help and Gail Ackerman for her skilful assistance in laboratory analyses.

Author information




C.F.M. and F.B. designed the study. C.F.M. performed the experiments. J.L., J.N. and J.J. conducted literature searches and provided summaries of previous research studies. J.L. conducted the statistical analysis. J.L. wrote the first draft of the manuscript and J.L., J.N., J.J., F.B. and C.F.M. contributed and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jukka Luukkonen.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

Animal care and procedures were approved by the University of Colorado Boulder Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol number 1003.03).

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The original raw data will be stored at UEF’s open access repository after publication.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Funding information

This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant number 298378) and Dr. Barnes Gordon Prize.

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Note This work is published under the standard license to publish agreement. After 12 months the work will become freely available and the license terms will switch to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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Luukkonen, J., Naarala, J., Juutilainen, J. et al. Pilot study on the therapeutic potential of radiofrequency magnetic fields: growth inhibition of implanted tumours in mice. Br J Cancer 123, 1060–1062 (2020).

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