Cancer treatment using direct electric current

Galvanotherapy, or electro-chemical-therapy (ECT), is a treatment method in which direct electric current (galvano current) is applied into the tumor. The current is transferred by inserting electrodes into the tumor or through external electrodes placed on and under the area of the tumor.

The method was developed by Dr. Rudolf Pekar, from Austria, and Prof. Bj?rn Nordenstr?m from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. The two worked to publicize the treatment in the world of cancer medicine. Today, galvanotherapy is used in hospitals around the world, particularly in Germany and China.

How does this method work?

The direct electric current of Galvanotherapy changes the pH values and the electric fields inside the tumor tissue, disrupting the essential metabolic procedures inside the cells and causing their death. The electric fields within the cells are responsible for activating the intracellular pumps, which operate to bring electrolytes and other essential materials in and out of the cell. Disturbance of the activity of the pumps is critical, since it causes the over-penetrability of the cell’s membrane to different electrolytes. This causes unbalanced electrolyte composition inside the cell, severely disturbing cell function.

The cell membrane is resistant to electric currents; however, the tumor cells’ resistance is lower than that of normal cells. Therefore, the destructive effect acts only on cancer cells, while normal tissue is not harmed. Like hyperthermia, galvanotherapy is a selective method, which causes damage to tumor cells without harming normal cells.

In addition, increasing the permeability of cell membrane leads to improved permeability of chemotherapy inside the tumor cell. Therefore combining galvanotherapy with chemotherapy has a positive synergistic effect.

The treatment has no side effects and is not painful.