DNMT1 and miRNAs: possible epigenetics footprints in electromagnetic fields utilization in oncology

Med Oncol. 2021 Sep 8;38(10):125. doi: 10.1007/s12032-021-01574-y.


Many studies were performed to unravel the effects of different types of Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on biological systems. Some studies were conducted to exploit EMFs for medical purposes mainly in cancer therapy. Although many studies suggest that the EMFs exposures can be effective in pre-clinical cancer issues, the treatment outcomes of these exposures on the cancer cells, especially at the molecular level, are challenging and overwhelmingly complicated yet. This article aims to review the epigenetic mechanisms that can be altered by EMFs exposures with the main emphasis on Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF). The epigenetic mechanisms are reversible and affected by environmental factors, thus, EMFs exposures can modulate these mechanisms. According to the reports, ELF-EMF exposures affect epigenetic machinery directly or through the molecular signaling pathways. ELF-EMF in association with DNA methylation, histone modification, miRNAs, and nucleosome remodeling could affect the homeostasis of cancer cells and play a role in DNA damage repairing, apoptosis induction, prevention of metastasis, differentiation, and cell cycle regulation. In general, the result of this study shows that ELF-EMF exposure probably can be effective in cancer epigenetic therapy, but more molecular and clinical investigations are needed to clarify the safe and specific dosimetric characteristics of ELF-EMF in practice.

Keywords: Anti-cancer; Electromagnetic fields; Epigenetics; Non-ionizing EMF; Oncology.

Publication types

  • Review