Mesothelioma Patients Could Benefit From Bioelectric Therapy


When it comes to a mesothelioma diagnosis, the path for treatment is fairly predictable. Besides some variation, depending on location and stage of the tumor, overall health, and the cell type of that particular mesothelioma, patients are generally recommended a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Recently, a number of innovations have emerged, increasing the number of therapy options.

Dr. Richard Heller of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, is part of an international consortium studying the effects and possible applications of bioelectricity. The concept revolves around the use of electric currents and fields, ion fluxes, and differences in resting potential across tissues to regulate cell behavior during embryogenesis, regeneration, cancer, and many other processes.


One study details how “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). NsPEFs locally induce apoptosis – like effects and affect vascular networks, both promoting tumor demise and restoration of normal vascular homeostasis”.

This technology provides significant advantages, it’s quite safe to administer and quick to apply. In principle, it creates a window which allows molecules from outside a biological cell to get inside the targeted cell. An electric field is generated, granting temporary passage through that cell membrane to allow molecules to permeate it.

Several applications are currently being explored alongside the cancer therapies. The approach showed positive responses to wound healing, treating ischemic tissue, heart and lung problems and possibly even neurodegenerative conditions.

Bioelectrics could represent an important step forward for treating a number of diseases and conditions. There is a wide variety of proteins and DNA strands that can be employed to reprogram cells, making them produce certain desired effects.