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The Effects of PEMF on Bladder Cancer Cells

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy's effect on bladder cancer cell line HT-1376


Background: 

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) is a magnetic waveform energy that can be targeted for delivery to cells and/or patients. It is noninvasive, and to date no reported negative side effects exist. Recently, its use as a therapeutic for cancer has come into focus. However, to our knowledge, no study has examined the effect of PEMF on bladder cancer at the cellular level. In this study, we sought to examine how PEMF altered a bladder cancer cell line (HT-1376) at the genomic level.


Methods: 

HT-1376 cells were cultured, and cells were plated into either a control plate (no PEMF) or experimental plate (PEMF). The experimental cells were subjected to PEMF which had an oscillating magnetic field ranging from 1.5 MilliTesla (mT) to 16 mT at 30 Hertz, 1 hour each day for 3 total days. RNA was isolated from both control and experimental cell plates on day 3 and assayed on whole genome microarrays. Day 3 control samples from HT-1376 were compared to day 3 PEMF treated cells. Results were analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.


Results: 

Data from genomic analysis revealed that many cancer-related pathways were altered after treatment with PEMF in HT-1376. Relevant cancer pathways downregulated after PEMF treatment in HT-1376 cells compared to controls were the PIK3/AKT pathway (p=8.1e-61), neuroinflammation signaling pathway (p=2.3e-60), and external growth factor pathway (p=4.8e-35). Upregulated pathways after PEMF treatment relative to controls were the p53 signaling pathway (p=1.1e-06), endocannabinoid cancer inhibition pathway (p=1.1e-38), and the T-cell exhaustion signaling pathway (p=3.7e-22). The table also lists cancer relevant genes up and downregulated after PEMF treatment.


Conclusions:

PEMF appears to alter the tumor profile of bladder cancer cell line HT-1376. Key pathways implicated in cancer pathogenesis were altered after treatment. Further, after treating HT-1376 bladder cancer cells with PEMF for 3 days, significant alterations in gene expression occurred. This has widespread implications for prognosis, management, and treatment of bladder cancer. Ultimately, PEMF may represent an exciting new non-invasive therapeutic in bladder cancer, which necessitates further research.


Cancer related gene alterations after PEMF treatment.

Gene

Fold Change

Role

TP53

8.8

Tumor suppressor

CDKN1A

1.8

Halts cell cycle

Rb1

3.3

Tumor suppressor

CCL19

-1.5

Promotes tumor invasion

VEGFA

-1.6

Angiogenesis

Each fold change represents a specific gene up/downregulation in PEMF treated cells relative to controls. A positive fold change is upregulation and negative is downregulation.


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