Vol.2, No.9, 1049-1053 (2010) Health
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. Openly accessible at http://www.scirp.org/journal/HEALTH/
Destruction of an advanced malignant tumour by direct
electrical current-case report
Chima Oji1*, John Ani2
1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria;
*Corresponding Author: chimaoji@gmail.com
2Ntasiobi Specialist Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
Received 6 December 2009; revised 14 May 2010; accepted 24 May 2010.
We carried out a study on the effect of low-level
direct current on cancer by using it to treat a
woman who had a large malignant squamous
cell carcinoma of the sinus cavity. We used a
device that produced low-level direct current
and passed the current through the tumour via a
4 × 4 cm flat aluminium foil and a needle elec-
trode that was insulated along its entire length
except for the portion actually inserted into the
tumour. The treatment was eight hourly daily
and lasted for eight weeks. The therapy resulted
in the total remission of the tumour and a feel-
ing of wellness by the patient. This finding im-
plies promising therapeutic potential for the use
of direct electrical current as a simple, effective,
low cost alternative for the treatment of cancer.
Keywords: Destruction; Malignant Tumour; Human
Patient; Direct Electrical Current
Many clinical cases of cancer do not respond to the
conventional approaches of surgery, chemotherapy, ra-
diotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy. The
disadvantages of these cancer treatment modalities in-
clude damage to healthy cells and the resulting signifi-
cant side effects, such as hair loss, fatigue, hormonal
changes that may affect fertility and libido, blood clots,
flu-like symptoms, and/or complex, risky, expensive
surgical procedures. Consequently, a new cancer treat-
ment modality, which uses a device that is minimally
invasive, and provides effective treatment without major
side effects, is on demand. One of the newer techniques
that researchers and clinicians are investigating for its
potential role in clinical therapy is electrotherapy, [1-5]
Eaton [6] suggested as early as 1776 that electricity
might have a role in the treatment of tumours. He re-
ported the case of a patient with a breast tumour whom
lightning struck and her tumour retarded. Other investi-
gators of that era used the available electronic techniques
to treat tumours with electricity and narrated positive
results [6]. Humphrey and Seal [7] reported that a grow-
ing foetus or a growing uterine tumour would cause the
uterus to be electronegative with respect to the abdomi-
nal surface. In the guinea pig and mouse, the tumour is
also negative. This supports the many findings that a
growing region is electronegative with respect to a
slower growing or non-growing region in the same or-
ganism, irrespective of plant or animal [7]. The presence
of direct current (DC) surface electro-potentials that a
microvolt meter can detect and measure, characterizes
living tissues [8]. Humphrey and Seal [7], Schauble et al
[8] and Habal [9] described the necrosis and retardation
of tumour growth in three solid tumour models when
they passed low-level direct current through the tumours.
According to Weber [10], a cell must replicate its deoxy-
ribonucleic acid (DNA) strand for it to divide. The
building blocks of this strand are four bases that are in
short supply in a healthy, resting cell. On the other hand,
the building blocks of a related molecule, ribonucleic
acid (RNA), are always in great abundance because
many cellular functions need RNA. When a cell is ready
to divide, an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase
(RR), converts building blocks of RNA into those of
DNA. The enzyme RR is therefore pivotal for cell
growth. The activity of this enzyme is thus tightly linked,
much more than that of any other enzyme, to neoplastic
transformation and progression. Kulsh [11] promulgated
the hypothesis that a novel way of arresting the activity
of this all-important enzyme in cell growth lies in the
fact that the active site of RR contains a stable tyrosyl
free radical, which is essential for its activity [12]. Kulsh
[11] surmised that free-floating electrons, which are eas-
ily available in the form of direct electric current, could
neutralize or destroy such free radicals. Direct current
C. Oji et al. / HEALTH 2 (2010) 1049-1053
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. Openly accessible at http://www.scirp.org/journal/HEALTH/
electrotherapy should therefore result in inhibition of RR
and cessation of malignant cell proliferation. Low-level
surface DC electrotherapy would act selectively on can-
cerous growth since the concentration of the target en-
zyme RR is exponentially higher in cancerous cells, as
compared to healthy quiescent cells [10]. Metastasized
cancer should also be treatable by direct current electro-
therapy since even in the metastatic state, the biochemi-
cal mechanism of cell division involving the enzyme RR
remains the same notwithstanding the organ microenvi-
In view of the fact that both the direction and the
spread of electric current can be controlled, thereby lim-
iting the effects to a defined area, we believe that the
exploration of this phenomenon holds great promise. It
should also be possible to deliver the current to areas of
the body that are not accessible to surgery.
A conspicuous and essential point in this article is that
the case we present is not a laboratory experiment but a
stage IV cancer of the TNM (Tumour, Node, Metastasis)
system involving a poor woman in dire condition be-
cause of the advanced nature of the disease and because
she could not afford the cost of conventional surgery.
Furthermore, this is the first time in West Africa that a
human patient received direct current therapy.
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the
application of low-level direct current on patients with
large malignant oral tumours. We are of the opinion that
this novel method of cancer treatment is important in a
developing country because it is low-cost, non-toxic,
non-invasive, site specific, and easy to administer.
A 60-year-old Nigerian woman presented to our oral and
maxillofacial clinic in 2007. She complained of swelling
of the right face and the palate that began three years
earlier. In addition, she had hearing problems, especially
of the right ear. The tumour has steadily been increasing
in size (Figure 1). She also complained of blockage of
the right nostril, difficulty in breathing and in swallow-
ing, speech impairment and discomfort when chewing.
The swellings were tender to touch and the tumour on
the palate bled occasionally. The patient’s medical his-
tory was benign—she denied fever, chills, weight loss,
vomiting and nausea. She admitted that she had hitherto
patronized unorthodox medical practitioners before a
medical doctor referred her to our maxillofacial unit.
Clinical examination showed an elderly, nervous and
talkative woman with a facial mass on the right side of
the face in moderate respiratory distress. There was also
a large swelling (diameter = 4.5 cm) on the palate (Fig-
ure 1). The lesion did not affect the facial nerve. The
Figure 1. Tumour of the palate before treatment.
radiograph (jug handle or occipitomental view) revealed
lytic bone destruction of the right sinus cavity. The bi-
opsy result reported squamous cell carcinoma. We
therefore made a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma
(SCC) in stage IV of the TNM (Tumour, Node, Metasta-
sis) system.
After obtaining ethical clearance from the health in-
stitution where we treated the patient; informed consent
from her and extra/intraoral photographs, we started
treatment using the GEIPEa device and the following
materials: custom electrodes, needle electrodes, elec-
trode gel, and sandpaper strips. The device was bat-
tery-powered and provided constant electrical current. In
accordance with the treatment protocol of the GEIPE
Cancer Treatment, we prepared the skin by removing
dead skin cells from the area with very fine sand paper;
cleaning with water; drying and finally rubbing con-
ducting gel on the skin surface. We connected the wires
first to a passive surface electrode, which was an alu-
minium foil plate that measured 4 × 4 cm (extra oral
electrode) and then to an active needle (intra oral elec-
trode). This was a 14-gauge stainless steel injection nee-
dle, whose hub was removed. It was insulated with tight-
fitting silicon tubing that covered the needle except for
the 5 mm tip. The exposed tip had a diameter of 2.25
mm, and a surface area of 0.35 cm2.
We placed the electrodes in such a way that the can-
cerous tissue fell in the path between them by visualiz-
ing a straight line going through the body and through
the tumour. We taped the surface electrode to hold it
down (Figure 2). After sterilizing the tip of the needle,
we inserted it into the tumour so that the exposed tip was
C. Oji et al. / HEALTH 2 (2010) 1049-1053
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Figure 2. Placement of the electrodes.
within the tumour and switched the device on. Initially,
we passed a current of 2 mA and a voltage of 3 V through
the tumour for one hour. After examining the skin and
establishing that there were no adverse reactions, we
increased the time of treatment slowly to a maximum of
eight hours at a time. The GEIPE device, which was
equipped with two ON positions, required that the pa-
tient or a health worker activate the first ON switch and
then the second ON switch after every five minutes. This
was necessary in order to avoid electrolysis and dissolu-
tion of electrodes. Since we found this procedure stress-
ful, we consulted an engineering firm, GODIACb (Nig.)
Ltd that modified the GEIPE device to perform the
switching function automatically.
At the end of each treatment session, we gently
washed the skin with soap and water and placed a mois-
turizer on the area. After the first three days of treatment,
we observed oedema and discoloration of the lesion in
the palate. Seven days later, there was marked necrosis
of the lesion. We carefully removed the necrotic tissue
and the colour of the palate mucosa normalized in the
course of treatment. The extra oral as well as the intra
oral tumour flattened after eight weeks of treatment
(Figure 3), and the patient’s accompanying ailments
disappeared. She left the hospital against our advice ex-
plaining that she felt well and had neither the money nor
the need for further medical attention. This was the rea-
son why we could not execute final radiographic exami-
nations and biopsy. We saw the healthy-looking patient
eighteen months later in the marketplace where she sold
vegetables. She refused our request for her to come for a
Figure 3. The palate-eight weeks after onset of
The case that we reported here suggests that direct elec-
tric current can destroy an advanced malignant tumour
within a relatively short span of time (eight weeks).
Many possible mechanisms may account for tumour
destruction by direct current. Kulsh [11] postulated the
enzyme-mediated mechanism for the first time. He,
however, suggested that voltage between 1.2-3 V would
be most beneficial for the disabling of RR through free
radical interactions. Kulsh [11] was of the opinion that
higher voltage for this mechanism would be undesirable
because more and more electrons would engage in elec-
trochemical processes leaving less and less electrons free
as free radicals, and the concentration of toxic electro-
chemical species would increase steadily. In our case, we
used 3 V.
Yen et al. [13] applied direct current of 400 µA at 3
volts for 208.4 minutes (i.e., 5 Coulombs in 5 mL or 1
Coulomb/mL), to a human cancer cell culture. The pH at
the anode decreased to 4.53 and increased to 10.46 at the
cathode. The effect of pH alteration on cells is thus
likely one of the mechanisms of tumour cell destruction.
A 1994 study by Berendson et al. [14], showed that
the main reactions at the anode are the formation of
oxygen, acidification due to liberated hydrogen ions, and,
if platinum is used as anode material, the formation of
chloride. At the cathode, hydrogen is formed and hy-
droxide ions are liberated. Based on calculations, the
authors concluded that the liberated hydrogen ions de-
C. Oji et al. / HEALTH 2 (2010) 1049-1053
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. Openly accessible at http://www.scirp.org/journal/HEALTH/
termine the extents of the locally destroyed zone around
the anode and that the destructive effect of chlorine
probably occurs in an inner zone close to the anode.
Though Marino et al. [15] employed a current of 2
mA and a voltage of 3 V in their experiment, they opined
that the pH changes in the tumour tissue—to the extent
that they overcome the body’s buffering capacity—
might be responsible for the observed effects on tumour
growth. They reasoned that the absence of an effect on
tumour growth with AC (alternating current) supports
this view because in this case, the electrochemical events
at each electrode are identical but they do not produce a
pH gradient.
According to Harguindey [16], tumour hyperacidifi-
cation might activate cytolytic mechanisms through in-
creased activity of lysosomes, resulting in the destruc-
tion of tumour tissues. Low pH also inhibits glycolysis
and protein synthesis upon which malignant tissues are
A positive potential on metal electrodes leads to cor-
rosion of the metal with the release of metal ions from
the electrode and possible resultant necrosis and metal
toxicity. At the anode, the stainless steel electrode is cor-
roded with the ferrous ions going into solution [8]. In
their experiment with mice, Morris et al. [17] detected
that DC-induced tumour necrosis was polarity specific.
At the anode, it was coagulative and at the cathode, it
was ischemic. They surmised that this was further evi-
dence that the mechanism for tumour destruction was
electrochemical in nature. Taylor et al. [18] noted that
vascular occlusion by thrombosis can be reliably pro-
duced by the passage of an appropriate quantity of elec-
trical current.
It must, however, be noted that DC therapy has its
limitations, namely, its inability to effect a complete re-
mission in many cases. The percentages of total and par-
tial remissions vary from case to case as evidenced by
the works of Turler et al. [19] Kirson et al. [20] and Bar-
bault et al. [21]. Other drawbacks of this therapy its sta-
tionary nature (in the case presented here, the patient
was in the supine position for eight hours daily) and its
duration (again, in our case, the treatment lasted for
eight weeks).
All the papers referenced here agree on one issue,
namely, that DC destroys tumours. There are, however,
diverse views of the way it works. It appears, therefore,
that there is yet no clear understanding of the underlying
mechanisms of action. Nonetheless, we share the belief
of Taylor et al. [18] that there is a great therapeutic po-
tential for the development of this new technology. If
further studies can confirm the beneficial effects of di-
rect electrical current on malignant tissues, as we have
seen in our study and as shown in other studies, then the
application of relatively small amounts of direct electri-
cal current using a variety of purpose-designed delivery
electrodes, could produce an innovative low cost treat-
ment alternative for patients with malignant diseases. We
urge governments and stakeholders in the health care
delivery to encourage and support researchers to con-
tinue these studies.
We are thankful to Mr. Jay Kulsh, CEO of GEIPEa from whom we
bought the GEIPE device. We also acknowledge Mr. Goddy Oku, CEO
of GODIACb (Nig.) Ltd for modifying the GEIPE device.
a. GEIPE Cancer Treatment: GEIPE, P.O. Box 69264 Los Angeles,
CA 90069. USA.
b. GODIAC: GODIAC (Nig.) Ltd. No. 2 Grant Street, 400001
Enugu, Nigeria.
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