The Bordeaux Prioré Magnetic Anti-Cancer Machine


Antoine Prioré (or Priore) (April 10, 1912 – May 9, 1983) was an Italian electric engineer, most well known for inventing a controversial electromagnetic device that he claimed could cure cancer. Medical experts have dismissed his claims as quackery.[1][2] Prioré was born in Trieste, Italy. Prioré received training in electrical engineering and was a radar technician for the Italian Navy. (Perisse, 1984) He was a prisoner of the German Nazi occupation of Bordeaux, France, until he was rescued by the French resistance in 1944. (Bird, 1984)

Priore worked for 25 years (between 1950 and 1975) in Bordeaux, and built a series of electromagnetic devices producing a strong magnetic field of 600 gauss (60 mT) or more for the purpose of treating cancer and disease.

His last device was funded by the French government with the help of one-time Prime Minister of France Jacques Chaban-Delmas. Prioré also built a large device (M-600) for the purpose of treating people with cancer. (Graille, 1984) Prioré reported to have treated a number of animals with cancer with his device, but it broke down before it could be applied to human patients. (Graille, 1984) Prioré claimed to have cured a number of terminal cancer patients with his earlier devices. (Bird, 1984) Prioré’s research attracted the attention of the French media in 1965 who dubbed it “L’affaire Priore”.

In 1965, one event exposed possible foul play in Prioré’s experimental research involving “English mice.” Mice with experimental cancers sent to Prioré from the Chester Beatty Institute in England lead to controversy over his research. After Prioré exposed the mice to radiation from his devices, they were sent back to the Institute. Scientists from the Institute claimed the mice returned to them were not genuine because they rejected new cancer grafts. One scientist with the Institute, Pierette Chateaurenaud-Duprat, retorted the claim stating the mice showed signs of immunity to the cancers they were originally grafted with. (Graille, 1984) Prioré’s colleagues supported his research until his death in 1983. Immunologist Raymond Pautrizel and Robert Courier, former secretary of the French Academy of Sciences, published a series of notes on Prioré’s research in the proceedings of the French Academy. (Graille, 1984) Pautrizel, an apologist, classified Prioré’s methodology as immunological in nature, since animals inoculated with deadly doses of parasites were reportedly healed with Prioré radiation. According to Bird (1984), a supporter, Priore’s methodology was also characterized by boosting subjects’ immune systems, allowing them to heal themselves of incurable diseases. Antoine Prioré died on May 9, 1983 of a stroke. (Perisse, 1984) Jean-Michel Graille, a French journalist, met with Raymond Pautrizel and wrote a book on the Priore affair, Dossier Priore.


In the 1960s and 1970s the Italian born scientist Antonio Priore, working in France, amazed the public and divided the scientific world with his invention, a machine which could cure a variety of illnesses, including cancer. Gaining the support of the French government and several scientific organizations, Priore received a great amount of money in funds to sustain his research.

Historical Context

In the 19th century, the public believed that electricity could be a health panacea. From the cure of lymphoedema to nasal polyps reported by the distinguished surgeon Auguste Nélaton (1807-1873) during his speech in the French Academy of Sciences, electricity seemed to have several possible applications in medicine [1].

In 1928, the French electrical engineer and biologist Charles Laville (1877-1959) supported that cell was an electrical engine and cancer an electromagnetic disturbance of the cell pointing out the significance of electro negativity in biology [2].

Twenty five years later, the Italian born scientist Antonio Priore (1912-1983) claimed that he developed a machine that was producing various types of electromagnetic fields and could be used in the treatment of cancer. 

For almost two decades scientists, institutes, journalists and cancer patients were implicated in a sensational case, known as the “Priore affair”.

From Priore’s vegetables to Priore’s machine

Antonio Priore was born at Cerignola Italy in 1912. He graduated from a school of electricity in Trieste and during WW II served in the Ital- ian Navy as radar operator [3]. In 1943, he was transferred by German authorities to BETASOM submarine base which was established by the Italian army at Bordeaux, France as part of the Axis anti-shipping campaign. During that period, Priore started to conduct experiments on the conservation of fruits and vegetables and he noticed that some oranges, left beside a piece of electrical equipment, remained fresh, while others nearby were rotten. The results of these experiments became his obsession. Some weeks before Liberation, Priore realized that he would be killed and escaped thanks to a French commissionaire. Joining the French resistance movement, he participated to the fight for Liberation making also some important friendships in military and political circles such as Jacques Chaban-Delmas (1915-2000), the later Mayor of Bordeaux and Prime Minister [4].

After the end of the war, he settled at Bordeaux and worked initially as a projectionist and radio repairman, experimenting, in his free time, on electricity applications and his main obses- sion: to build an apparatus capable to preserve food, using a mixture of electromagnetic frequen- cies. Being self taught and enthusiast Priore was continuously fixed on a certain idea, searching for its immediate application. Dr Marfaing reports Priore’s results during 1948-1950: “Once at night he called me: he was dancing with excitement and showed me a perfectly preserved piece of meat» [3]. The apparatus that he built was able to kill the mould that was the origin of rotting. He multi- plies the tests on meat at the abattoir of Bordeaux treating also animals with cancerous lesions on the nipple area. During these experiments Priore noticed that after irradiation with his machine, cancerous lesions had a positive electromagnetic response while injured lesions remained unaffected [4].

A new fixed idea then arose: the experiment on humans and the treatment of cancer. Winning the support of the government Priore received an important fund to pursuit his experiments on humans. In 1958, Professor Biraben and Dr. Delmon from Bergonié Foundation (an anticancer center) became interested in this new apparatus. They obtained some rats grafted with T-8 experimental tumors and subjected them to “Priore’s ray”. Surprisingly, the invincible T-8 tumor reduced significantly in volume. Professor Guérin, the “inventor” of T-8 tumors sent his assistant Professor Marcel René Rivière to Bordeaux to repeat the experiments [5]. 

The obtained results were also impressive and Rivière reported the experiment to Robert Courrier (1895-1986), one of the founders of reproductive endocrinology and perpetual secretary of the French Academy of Sciences. In 1964 a note was sent to the Academy mentioning: “Effect of electromagnetic fields on T8 tumors grafted on rats: Rats with a T8 tumor were submitted to electro-magnetic fields at various stages of development of the graft. When the doses were sufficiently high, a complete regression of the tumor was observed as well as a total disappearance of the metastases that usually accompany it” [5].

Courrier was involved in this case and he asked for funding from various French organizations responsible for the administration of scientific projects. He also asked from an immunologist and leading world parasitologist at the time, Professor Raymond Pautrizel (1916-2000) to help. The results as they were mentioned in Courrier’s speech were impressive: 

“I sent to Bordeaux 18 rats grafted with lymphosarcoma on 25 January 1965. 10 control rats, 4 rats exposed 1 hour a day and 4 rats exposed 2 hours a day. It is difficult to use more than 8 rats at a time because you can place only 2 of them at the same time under the apparatus. The experiment represented 6 hours of exposure each day. It started on 30 January. My assistant was the only person to touch the animals during the experiment. These animals spent the night in locked cages located in the laboratory of Professor Pautrizel at the medical school. The 8 experimental rats were placed in the machine and were constantly watched by my assistant, Mrs Collonge. Results: Beginning of the experiment on 30 January. Fifteen days after the graft, the last control rat dies. None survive. On 18 February, 19 days after the graft, the last of the 4 rats those were exposed 1 hour per day dies. None survive. On the contrary, the 4 rats that had been exposed 2 hours a day are in good health” [5,6].

However Pautrizel decided to lead the research in another direction and experimented in animals in the treatment of Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). Rats were inoculated with Trypanosoma equiperdum. Control animals died by the 5th day. Rats exposed daily to Priore’s machine survived with complete disappearance of the parasite from their organisms developing also a specific immunity to further infection [7] 

Academicians were divided in two parts: pros and cons. On the one part the favorable results of the experiments but on the other part a too com- plicated apparatus, Priore’s enigmatic personality and difficulty to explain the machine’s mechanism, several physicists who examined it and could not understand how it was working and the contradictory reception of the data by various academics [3].

Moreover new supporters of Priore’s theory were attracted, among them Andre Lwoff (1902- 1994), the 1965 Nobel Prize winner for medicine. Lwoff collaborated with Dr. Stratis Avrameas (1930- ), research director in CNRS, conducted a research that remained secretly kept [4].

In 1977 Professor Georges Dubourg experimented in the treatment of terminal cancer patients whose chemotherapy and/or conventional radiation did not succeed. One of them was cured while the others lived much longer than predicted. The results were submitted to the French Academy of Medicine for publication but the communication was rejected [4].

Antoine Priore died on May 9th 1983 without any scientific recognition of his work. Since nobody else knew how to operate his machine, further research ceased. According to Alain Rousset, at that time director in the office of the President of Aquitaine Region the problem was that Priore never wished to implicate in official protocols [8]. The mode of action of his “waves” was finally kept secret. In 1974 in a TV interview Priore mentioned concerning the way his machine works: “It is too complex, too complicated and it is impossible to learn it from a day to another” [3].

After Priore’s death a research program was conducted by the University of Bordeaux in an attempt to demystify the apparatus resulting in failure to obtain therapeutic effect.


Prioré was accused of manipulating his scientific data by the French Academy of Sciences. French journalists also accused Prioré of not understanding his own technique for treating cancer and disease. Prioré never exposed his exact method, believing others would only steal it for themselves. Members of the French Academy of Sciences and media alike seriously questioned the legitimacy of Prioré’s research, with many accusing him of fraud. (Graille, 1984)

The U.S. Office of Naval Research evaluated Prioré’s patents. The patents seemed deliberately made unclear, leaving little information to ascertain the mechanical and electromagnetic workings of Prioré’s devices.[3] Physicist Pierre Aigrain, the head of the General Delegation for Scientific and Technical Research (DGRST) has written that “the biological effects resulting from the radiation emitted by M Priore’s apparatus have no connection with cancer… to speak of a therapeutic apparatus capable of helping the sick is pure romancing.”[2]

Prioré’s education has also been called into question. For example, Solly Zuckerman has described Prioré as a “self-taught electrical technician.”[4]

The great difficulty was that no one – including Prioré himself – understood the actual active mechanism produced by the machine.

Prioré mixed several ordinary transverse EM radiations – some at radar frequency and some at microwave frequency – in a plasma tube containing a rotating plasma. Today it is known that some plasmas will organize longitudinal waves when transverse waves are input, and vice versa. Apparently he was able to produce at least “noisylongitudinal EM waves. These waves were “infolded” inside pulsed magnetic field carriers – quite strikingly analogous to Whittaker’s theoretical work. So he did indeed use – at least to some extent – the still unexplored “inner Whittaker electrodynamics”.

The mechanism is a dramatic extension to nonlinear optics, moving it to the time domain, and resulting in the forced propagation of the pumped cellular mass itself – including the genetics – in the time domain. Hence the damaged or diseased cellular mass is slowly reverted back to a previous earlier state. There is no 3-spatial propagation; the propagation is shifted to the time domain entirely. It involves the hidden, very powerful general relativity in the “inner space” underlying the present EM (Electro Magnetic) fields.

The papers by Rodrigues and Lu on the Los Alamos National Laboratory Website, and also in Foundations of Physics, summarize the present theoretical development of what is called “undistorted progression waves” (UPWs), which essentially are “noisylongitudinal EM waves with residues of other polarization. A pure longitudinal wave with no transverse component residues, would have infinite energy and infinite velocity.


It was said that Priore’s machine was a huge two floors apparatus weighed 50 tons comprising: a large plasma tube excited by 430 V, a magnetron oscillator (9.4 Ghz, 40 Kw peak), which pulsed on for 1 microsecond at a rate of 1 Khz, two high fre- quency oscillators (17.6 Mhz and 15.8 Mhz) and a magnetic field (1200 G) which confines the plasma and which is pulsed at a rate of 50 times per minute. The magnetic field at the table, where the subject was located, was about 600 G. A second machine was also built which was capable of producing an active magnetic field of about 1200 G [9] 

Several hypotheses exist concerning the way the machine was working. It was theorized that it could stimulate the intercellular activity, increas- ing the electroporosity of cells, enhancing thus its exchange materials and increasing the metabolism.

According to Dr. Bernard Murzeau, former pupil of Professor Pautrizel and expert on the apparatus, the pulsed electric fields emitted by the machine have a determining effect [10].

In 1971, CNRS engineers analyzed the radiation of the apparatus and listed the detected frequencies, including pulsed magnetic fields at very low frequency, high frequency (17 MHz) and ultrahigh frequency (17-20 GHz). Apart from the light, during the spectrographic analysis of the plasma bulb located in the center of the apparatus, they did not find anything else. However, when they tried to operate the device without the lamp, they obtained the same effects as in a micro-wave oven [8].

Refusing constantly to explain in detail the constructive plan and the settings of the apparatus, Priore condemned his own invention. Nobody succeeded to reproduce in a standardized way the therapeutic results.



  1. Velpeau A, Nélaton A, Denonvilliers C et al. Rapport sur les progrès de la chirurgie. Paris, Impr. impériale, 1867, p 31.

2. Laville C. Le Cancer, le dérangement électrique. Paris, Editions Laville, 1928.

3. Bonnet X. Le rayon qui « guérissait le cancer » : l’af- faire Priore. In : Foucault D (Ed) : Lutter contre le can- cer (1740-1960). Paris, Privat, 2012, pp 435-447.

4. Graille JM. Dossier Priore. Une nouvelle affaire Pas- teur? Paris, Denoël, 1984.

5. Schiff M. The memory of water: homoeopathy and the battle of ideas in the new science. London, Thorson/ HarperCollins, 1995.

6. Riviere MR, Priore A, Berlureau et al. Phenomena of regression observed on grafts of a lymphosarcoma in

mice exposed to electromagnetic fields. C R Hebd Se- ances Acad Sci 1965;260:2639-2643.

7. Pautrizel R, Mattern P, Pautrizel AN, Priore A. Effect of magnetic fields and modulated electromagnetic waves on experimental trypanosomiasis. Ann Soc Belg Med Trop 1977;57:501-524.

8. Ducoeurjoly P. Faut-il réhabiliter Priore? Nexus 2010;69:54-59.

9. Bateman JB. A biologically active combination of modulated magnetic and microwave fields: The Priore Machine. Office of Naval Research, London, Report R-5-78, Aug. 16, 1978.

10. Murzeau B. La fantastique histoire d’Antoine Priore. In accessed on 20th May 201

  1. Jump up
    Camp, John. (1973). Magic, Myth and Medicine. Priory Press Limited. p. 183 “Many other experienced scientists insist that Priore, who has no medical qualifications, is hoodwinking the medical profession as surely as did Elisha Perkins with his Metallic Tractors in the early nineteenth century.”
  2. ^ Jump up to:
    a b Brabyn, Howard. (1971). An a Priori Case for Investigation. New Scientist. 20 May, p. 433.
  3. Jump up
    Bateman, J. B. (1978). A Biologically Active Combination of Modulated Magnetic and Microwave Fields: The Prioré Machine. Office of Naval Research, London, Report R-5-78.
  4. Jump up
    Zuckerman, Solly. (1988). Monkeys, Men and Missiles. HarperCollins Publishers. p. 44
  • Bateman, J. B. (1978) A Biologically Active Combination of Modulated Magnetic and Microwave Fields: The Prioré Machine. Office of Naval Research, London, Report R-5-78, Aug. 16, 1978.
  • Bird, Christopher. The Case of Antoine Prioré and His Therapeutic Machine: A Scandal in the Politics of Science. 1984.1988 USPA and Cheniere
  • Graille, Jean-Michel. Dossier Priore. Denoël (Editions). 1984 (French) ISBN 2207230023
  • Perisse, Eric. Effects of Electromagnetic Waves and Magnetic Fields on Cancer and Experimental Trypanosomiasis. March 16, 1984. University of Bordeaux.
  • Valone, Thomas Bioelectromagnetic Healing: A Rationale for its Use. Integrity Research Inst., 2000. ISBN 0-9641070-5-8
  • Bearden, Tom U.S. Office of Naval Research Report on the Priore Machine 16 August 1978.

Many other attempts later on, including the Theraphi

The Plasma Health Theraphi avoids these issues and uses solid-state emitters/mixers at a fraction of the cost. The design is robust and easily transportable, without the fragility of noble gas tubes. New solid-state VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) devices shrink the physical volume and production costs even further






Prioré Patent




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