Bioeffects of static magnetic fields: oxidative stress, genotoxic effects, and cancer studies

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:602987. doi: 10.1155/2013/602987. Epub 2013 Aug 6.


The interaction of static magnetic fields (SMFs) with living organisms is a rapidly growing field of investigation. The magnetic fields (MFs) effect observed with radical pair recombination is one of the well-known mechanisms by which MFs interact with biological systems. Exposure to SMF can increase the activity, concentration, and life time of paramagnetic free radicals, which might cause oxidative stress, genetic mutation, and/or apoptosis. Current evidence suggests that cell proliferation can be influenced by a treatment with both SMFs and anticancer drugs. It has been recently found that SMFs can enhance the anticancer effect of chemotherapeutic drugs; this may provide a new strategy for cancer therapy. This review focuses on our own data and other data from the literature of SMFs bioeffects. Three main areas of investigation have been covered: free radical generation and oxidative stress, apoptosis and genotoxicity, and cancer. After an introduction on SMF classification and medical applications, the basic phenomena to understand the bioeffects are described. The scientific literature is summarized, integrated, and critically analyzed with the help of authoritative reviews by recognized experts; international safety guidelines are also cited.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / radiation effects*
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects
  • Free Radicals / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields*
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*


  • Free Radicals