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Italian biologists have discovered the effect of electromagnetic fields on the survival of cancer cells. Their findings are presented in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Water is the basis for most biological systems. But it cannot only be viewed upon as a passive carrier of other molecules: one should always bear in mind its active role in living systems. This activity is attributed to strong hydrogen bonds and intermolecular dipole interactions. The anomalous and unpredictable properties of water have been agitating the imagination of biologists and chemists for decades. One of the best-known hypotheses is that structured sites (coherent domains) of water are able to somehow retain information similarly to liquid crystals inside our computers. The most famous works on this subject are perhaps those by Nobel Prize Laureates Jacques Benveniste and Luc Montagnier and they discuss biological information delivery mediated by electromagnetic waves [1, 2].

A team of Italian scientists has been proceeding with research into electromagnetic information delivery in water. They used a human Neuroblastoma (nervous system tumor) Cell Line (LAN-5) as a model system. Exposure to retinoic acid (vitamin A metabolite) is one way to create a stimulus for these cells. Interestingly, this substance does not directly result in death of this tumor cell line. Instead, when exposed to the acid, the cells undergo further differentiation: the nuclear bodies which have been split into microparticles while in the malignant form begin to gather into chromosomes again, with the cell division slowing down considerably and some marker proteins responsible for further differentiation becoming activated [3, 4]. In this way, the cells present in their highly active malignant form turn into significantly less malignant, stable lines that are highly responsive to subsequent chemotherapy.

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Fig.1. A visual illustration of the effect of retinoic acid on cells [5]. It depicts a transition of the cell culture from an amorphous aggregate to coordinated structures, accompanied, with the formation of neural network threads.

This very effect of retinoic acid was reproduced using an electromagnetic stimulus caused by modulation of a sinusoidal wave with a signal. This signal was generated from a retinoic acid solution using magnetic coils. The generated electromagnetic wave acted on the cancer cells through another magnetic coil placed around the vessel containing the cell culture. Untreated samples or samples directly treated with retinoic acid were used as controls.

The scientists’ hypotheses were confirmed by their findings. Untreated cancer cells continued to grow in a liner manner. The cells to which retinoic acid was initially added stopped growing and even began to die afterwards. But the growth rate of cells exposed to the electromagnetic signal alone was significantly decreased, though to a lesser extent compared to treatment with the chemical compound.

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Fig.2. Cell proliferation analysis after shielding of the RA electromagnetic signals. Proliferation of Neuroblastoma cell line (LAN-5) grown in standard medium (Control = CTR), in the presence of shielded Retinoic Acid signal (Schielded RA-ECM) or in Retinoic Acid solution (positive control, RA).

In order to demonstrate that it is the signal that produces the effect rather than some random factors, the scientists even used a stimulus variation where cells were under exactly the same conditions, with the electromagnetic waves positioned outside and shielded from the vessel. As a result, the cells began to grow again. Therefore, the scientists have provided evidence indicating that the electromagnetic wave did change the properties of the solution in which the cells had grown through the structuring of the water.

This kind of findings are interesting not only theoretically. With progress in this technology, scientists might attain far more targeted (more effective while less detrimental to the rest of the body) effects on cancerous tumors.


1.    Benveniste, J., Jurgens, P., Aïssa, J. 1996. Digital recording/ transmission of the cholinergic signal. Faseb Journal 10, A1479.

2.    Montagnier, L., Aïssa, J., Ferris, S. et al. Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA sequences. Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci 1, 81–90 (2009).

3.    Mei-Chih Chen, et al. 2014. Retinoic acid and cancer treatment. Biomedicine (Taipei) 4(4): 22.

4.    Schenk, T., et al. 2014. Unlocking the potential of retinoic acid in anticancer therapy. British Journal of Cancer 111, p. 2039–2045.

4.    Boudjelal, M, et al. Overexpression of Stra13, a novel retinoic acid-inducible gene of the basic helix-loop-helix family, inhibits mesodermal and promotes neuronal differentiation of P19 cells. Genes Dev. 1997; 11(16): 2052-65.