Palliative care in oncology

Fighting pain with magnetic fields 

Pain certainly represents one of the most terrible consequences of cancer pathologies. Containing and reducing pain is the most important condition to offer sick people a better condition and quality of life.

An ethical need to which Elemaster has responded by a project with the aim of creating a prototype experimental equipment whose functionality consists in administering an integrated analgesic therapy, the result of the synergy between drugs (current methodology) and the application of magnetic fields.

Origins of the project 

The method that Elemaster is experimenting is based on research conducted by several researchers and based on evidence that have shown how locally applied magnetic fields can attenuate the perception of pain.

The equipment used in the past experiments were of the electro-technical type. Consequently, the operations were handled completely by hand, by means of special knobs. The equipment therefore lacked automation, software and algorithms to regulate magnetic fluxes.

Elemaster’s research project with the customer is therefore focused on the objective of transforming an electro-technical prototype into equipment which by a software can guarantee performance and record the experimental parameters so that it is possible to control the progress of the therapy and measure the results obtained. 

From analog to digital 

The new equipment was then transformed from analog to digital. The equipment has a computer and various software, which can drive the intensity of current or frequency that powers the two coils placed on the patient’s body, generating the magnetic field. The magnetic field acts on the spin of the electrons that govern oxidation within the cells, also acting on the inflammation of the tumor mass and consequently on its development. In addition to the analgesic effect, magnetic fields have a great influence on cancer cells. In fact, it is hypothesized that magnetic fields are capable of slowing down their proliferation, thus reducing the growth rate of the tumor. 

Status of the project 

Elemaster built a first prototype and subjected it to related tests in laboratories, with the aim of evaluating the regulation of electromagnetic parameters, the positioning of the coils on the patient’s body and the management of treatment cycles for palliative care. The clinical trial phase has not yet started. The new device represents a novelty at European level. In fact, today there are no complete digital equipment for experimentation.

The Elemaster project therefore has the characteristics of exclusivity and conceptual originality. Regardless of the clinical results, the aspects related to the coils and the radiating effects of the magnetic field must be investigated. The latter aspect has so far been studied only empirically and there is still no in-depth knowledge of the distribution of the magnetic field in the area where the patient is accommodated. The area consists of a non-magnetic bed on which the patient is lying. The two coils, one upper and the other lower, are placed on the bed itself, which form magnetic flux lines that couple. The magnetic fields (one static and the other dynamic) have a series of positions which, in terms of intensity and frequency, can act differently also depending on their distance from the patient. This aspect will be the subject of further studies and verifications with the aim of understanding the methods and parameters to target the tumor mass in the most effective possible way.