Electrical stimulation can ‘starve’ brain cancers, early study shows

is brain glioblastoma cancer x
MRI scan of patient with glioblastoma. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers have shown that electrical stimulation to the skull can starve brain cancers of vital nutrient-rich blood, opening the door to “brain zapping” as a new treatment for the often-fatal tumours.

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applies a low intensity electrical current to the brain via electrodes on the scalp and is being investigated for a range of disorders including depression, speech loss after stroke, and the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease.

A team from Harvard Medical School, US, and Italy’s University of Siena enrolled eight patients for the recent study. Six had glioblastomas – tumours that grow from the brain tissue itself – and two had metastatic cancers that had spread from the lung.


Each patient then had 20 minutes of tDCS while in a functional MRI scanner, which can monitor blood flow in the brain.

For such a brief intervention, the results were dramatic.

Blood flow to the tumour reduced by an average 36%, ranging from 26% in the patients with glioblastoma to 45% for the patients with metastases. Apart from some reported tingling when the stimulation began, which is common in tDCS, there were no reported adverse effects.


Read full, original post: Can ‘brain zapping’ tackle tumours?

Related article:  US cancer death rates fall for 26th year in a row. 2.2% marks largest single-year drop
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend