Malignancies are the leading human health threat worldwide. Despite rapidly developing treatments, poor prognosis and outcome are still common. Magnetic fields have shown good anti-tumoral effects both in vitro and in vivo, and represent a potential non-invasive treatment; however, the specific underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. We here review recent studies on magnetic fields and their effect on tumors at three different levels: organismal, cellular, and molecular. At the organismal level, magnetic fields suppress tumor angiogenesis, microcirculation, and enhance the immune response. At the cellular level, magnetic fields affect tumor cell growth and biological functions by affecting cell morphology, cell membrane structure, cell cycle, and mitochondrial function. At the molecular level, magnetic fields suppress tumors by interfering with DNA synthesis, reactive oxygen species level, second messenger molecule delivery, and orientation of epidermal growth factor receptors. At present, scientific experimental evidence is still lacking; therefore, systematic studies on the biological mechanisms involved are urgently needed for the future application of magnetic fields to tumor treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Early online date3 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-tumoral effects
  • Cellular level
  • Magnetic field
  • Magneto-biology
  • Molecular level
  • Organismal level


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