Last night Sixty Minutes did an interesting story on an inventor named John Kanzius who has developed a new radiofrequency therapy to treat tumors and cancerous cells. Kanzius, who has no technical or medical training, was inspired to invent by his fight with leukemia, a disease which still threatens to take his life. Kanzius has at least five US patent applications under review: 20050251233, 20050251234, 20050273143, 20060190063, and 20070250139. His earliest provisional application was filed on May 7, 2004. He also has two published EP applications and two PCT applications.
The treatment involves injecting a tumor with gold nanoparticles and exposing them to RF, which causes the cancerous cells to heat up and die. Adjacent cells are not harmed. The therapy has shown encouraging results in the lab, much to the amazement and delight of canceer researchers.
It just so happens that I am currently reading Margaret Cheney's excellent 1981 biography of Nikola Tesla, Tesla, Man Out of Time. Tesla was an early pioneer of wireless communication in the 1880s and 1890s and believed in the possibility of wireless transmission of electricity. He also speculated that radiofrequency waves might be used to treat human disease, although he never followed up on the idea. I think it's fascinating that more than one hundred years later someone might actually fulfill Tesla's vision.