Two new cancer therapies apply bioelectric principles. These methods target tumor structures locally and function by applying millisecond electric fields to deliver plasmid DNA encoding cytokines using electrogene transfer (EGT) or by applying rapid rise-time nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs). EGT has been used to locally deliver cytokines such as IL-12 to activate an immune response, resulting in bystander effects. NsPEFs locally induce apoptosis-like effects and affect vascular networks, both promoting tumor demise and restoration of normal vascular homeostasis. EGT with IL-12 is in melanoma clinical trials and nsPEFs are used in models with B16F10 melanoma in vitro and in mice. Applications of bioelectrics, using conventional electroporation and extensions of it, provide effective alternative therapies for melanoma.
Original Publication Citation
Beebe, S.J., Schoenbach, K.H., & Heller, R. (2010). Bioelectric applications for treatment of melanoma. Cancers (Basel), 2(3), 1731-1770. doi: 10.3390/cancers2031731
Beebe, Stephen J.; Schoenbach, Karl H.; and Heller, Richard, "Bioelectric Applications for Treatment of Melanoma" (2010). Bioelectrics Publications. 41.