Research Papers:

Biological effect of an alternating electric field on cell proliferation and synergistic antimitotic effect in combination with ionizing radiation

Eun Ho Kim, Ye Jin Kim, Hyo Sook Song, Youn Kyoung Jeong, Ji Young Lee, Jiwon Sung, Seung Hoon Yoo and Myonggeun Yoon _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:62267-62279. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11407

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Eun Ho Kim1, Ye Jin Kim1, Hyo Sook Song2, Youn Kyoung Jeong1, Ji Young Lee1, Jiwon Sung2, Seung Hoon Yoo1, Myonggeun Yoon2

1Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Seoul, 01812, Korea

2Department of Bio-Convergence Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, 02841, Korea

Correspondence to:

Myonggeun Yoon, email: [email protected]

Keywords: tumour-treating fields, ionizing radiation, glioblastoma multiforme, apoptosis, synergism

Received: March 15, 2016    Accepted: August 09, 2016    Published: August 19, 2016


Alternating electric fields at an intermediate frequency (100~300 kHz), referred to as tumour-treating fields (TTF), are believed to interrupt the process of mitosis via apoptosis and to act as an inhibitor of cell proliferation. Although the existence of an antimitotic effect of TTF is widely known, the proposed apoptotic mechanism of TTF on cell function and the efficacy of TTF are controversial issues among medical experts. To resolve these controversial issues, a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of TTF on cell function and the differences between the effects of TTF alone and in combination with other treatment techniques is essential. Here, we report experimental evidence of TTF-induced apoptosis and the synergistic antimitotic effect of TTF in combination with ionizing radiation (IR). For these experiments, two human Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells (U373 and U87) were treated either with TTF alone or with TTF followed by ionizing radiation (IR). Cell apoptosis, DNA damage, and mitotic abnormalities were quantified after the application of TTF, and their percentages were markedly increased when TTF was combined with IR. Our experimental results also suggested that TTF combined with IR synergistically suppressed both cell migration and invasion, based on the inhibition of MMP-9 and vimentin.

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