Effect of millimeter wave irradiation on tumor metastasis

Bioelectromagnetics. 2006 May;27(4):258-64. doi: 10.1002/bem.20208.


One of the major side effects of chemotherapy in cancer treatment is that it can enhance tumor metastasis due to suppression of natural killer (NK) cell activity. The present study was undertaken to examine whether millimeter electromagnetic waves (MMWs) irradiation (42.2 GHz) can inhibit tumor metastasis enhanced by cyclophosphamide (CPA), an anticancer drug. MMWs were produced with a Russian-made YAV-1 generator. Peak SAR and incident power density were measured as 730 +/- 100 W/kg and 36.5 +/- 5 mW/cm(2), respectively. Tumor metastasis was evaluated in C57BL/6 mice, an experimental murine model commonly used for metastatic melanoma. The animals were divided into 5 groups, 10 animals per group. The first group was not given any treatment. The second group was irradiated on the nasal area with MMWs for 30 min. The third group served as a sham control for group 2. The fourth group was given CPA (150 mg/kg body weight, ip) before irradiation. The fifth group served as a sham control for group 4. On day 2, all animals were injected, through a tail vein, with B16F10 melanoma cells, a tumor cell line syngeneic to C57BL/6 mice. Tumor colonies in lungs were counted 2 weeks following inoculation. CPA caused a marked enhancement in tumor metastases (fivefold), which was significantly reduced when CPA-treated animals were irradiated with MMWs. Millimeter waves also increased NK cell activity suppressed by CPA, suggesting that a reduction in tumor metastasis by MMWs is mediated through activation of NK cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Female
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Spleen / cytology


  • Cyclophosphamide