Non-temperature-induced effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) have been controversial for decades. Here, we established measurement techniques to prove their existence by investigating energy deposition in tumor cells under RF exposure and upon adding amplitude modulation (AM) (AMRF). Using a preclinical device LabEHY-200 with a novel in vitro applicator, we analyzed the power deposition and system parameters for five human colorectal cancer cell lines and measured the apoptosis rates in vitro and tumor growth inhibition in vivo in comparison to water bath heating. We showed enhanced anticancer effects of RF and AMRF in vitro and in vivo and verified the non-temperature-induced origin of the effects. Furthermore, apoptotic enhancement by AM was correlated with cell membrane stiffness. Our findings not only provide a strategy to significantly enhance non-temperature-induced anticancer cell effects in vitro and in vivo but also provide a perspective for a potentially more effective tumor therapy.
Keywords: amplitude modulation; anticancer effects; colorectal cancer; hyperthermia; radiofrequency.