— A radiofrequency cancer treatment that Pittsburgh-area
native John Kanzius invented prior to his death from leukemia
in 2009 could be tested in human clinical trials next summer
A. Curley, chief of surgical oncology at the Baylor College of
Medicine and research leader, said success there could lead to
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving clinical
trials in the United States.
trials at the G. Pascale National Cancer Institute in Naples
will involve surgeons, oncologists and clinicians whom Dr.
Curley has been collaborating with for years. In a major step
forward for the research, Dr. Curley recently was awarded a
three-year $9 million grant from NeoTherma Oncology, the
company established to make therapeutic medical devices based
on the Kanzius technology.
first trials in pancreatic cancer will use chemotherapy and
the radiofrequency field," he said. "It will involve
only about 20 people and be used to show safety and proof of
principle, but will not take more than nine to 12 months to
complete." Pancreatic cancer is particularly resistant to
the standard treatments of chemotherapy and radiation.
interesting twist, however, the trials won’t involve the
main goal of Kanzius research: to target cancer cells with
nanoparticles, then usE the noninvasive technology to heat
them to temperatures deadly to the cancer but without
significant impact on surrounding tissue. From mice to
rabbits, that research has shown long-standing success in
eliminating major cancers, including liver, pancreatic and
breast. The treatment has yet to be tested on humans.
upcoming trials, the research team hopes to show that the
Kanzius technology, which noninvasively sends powerful radio
waves through the body, much the way weaker signals enter your
home and reach your radio, can change cancer-cell architecture
in a way that makes them more vulnerable to existing cancer
who held a high school degree and a two-year technical degree
but no medical training, lived in suburban Erie, Penn., where
he co-owned the Jet Broadcasting Co. that operated a string of
radio stations. While undergoing chemotherapy for b-cell
leukemia diagnosed in 2002, he was unable to sleep when the
idea struck him to spike only cancer cells with metallic
nanoparticles then use certain radio frequencies to heat them
to temperatures that kill the cancer. Dr. Curley has described
Kanzius as being brilliant, innovative and visionary.
study the Curley team published in July 2014 in the journal
Cancer found that the Kanzius radiofrequency treatment alone
impaired the function of mitochondria — known as the
powerhouses of the cells — in cancer cells. Then a year ago
the team published a study in the International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health that found the
radio-wave effects were specific to cancer cells, without
adversely affecting other cells.
study the Curley team published in Scientific Reports in July
showed that the Kanzius radiofrequency field increases blood
supply to malignant tumors, which bolsters the potential to
defeat resistance mechanisms of the cells and damage proteins
involved in their DNA repair. Unable to repair themselves, the
cancer cells die.
the studies suggest that radiofrequencies alone, even without
a targeting mechanism, may work to stem cancer. The team
already has determined that radiofrequency levels used to
treat pigs were safe.
August Dr. Curley’s team also published a study in PLOS One
about electronic technology it developed to visualize
biological interactions between radiofrequency exposure and
cancer cells, representing an important tool for understanding
how radio waves adversely affect cancer.
1, NeoTherma Oncology acquired Kanzius’ patents for
radiofrequency treatment technology and opened shop with the
goal of ushering the technology to market as a new cancer
treatment. Dr. Curley serves as NeoTherma’s chief scientific
Oncology is a startup designed to support development and
testing of the Kanzius technology," Dr. Curley said.
"A big investment group formed it and is funding the push
into human clinical trials." Michael Wandell, CEO of
NeoTherma, did not respond to interview requests.
Talamonti, chairman of the department of surgery at NorthShore
University Health System and a professor of surgery at the
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, said he’s
been watching progress with Kanzius research for years with a
personal interest in using nanoparticles to target and destroy
the cancer with radio waves.
want to target the tumor and avoid healthy tissue and increase
the efficacy and responsiveness of the tumor to the
treatment," Dr. Talamonti said. "That is why
nanoparticles are special, because they highly target the
cancer cells, reduce impacts on good tissue and destroy cancer
on a truly molecular level."