Jan 30, 2016

Research: Device Claims To Suppress Brain-Cancer Cell Growth

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, wearables

One key question can it help control Glioblastoma.

A new “wearable” device being tested to suppress brain-cancer cell growth in patients ended its clinical trials early with positive results. Optune is a battery powered device researchers claim will extend the life of a patient with “newly diagnosed glioblastoma” when it is paired with traditional temozolomide chemotherapy. Researches were confident enough in its effectiveness to end the clinical trials (which ran from July 2009 to November 2014) of the device early. The device is likely not “the cure for cancer,” but it is a step forward in extending the life expectancy of brain-cancer patients and more research will be needed to see if it may be effective on other forms of cancer.

“With this new data, it appears the tumor-treating fields should be used upfront and become a standard of care. We should add this modality to what we’re currently doing for our patients,” said Dr. Maciej Mrugala, a brain-cancer specialist who led UW Medicine’s participation in the clinical trial.

“You get almost five months’ survival benefit. It may not sound like a lot, but if you’re living with this diagnosis, this is a meaningful improvement,” said Mrugala. UW Medicine was one of the first 15 U.S. providers to employ the novel tumor-treating therapy; now there are more than 200.

Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common primary brain tumor and a highly aggressive cancer. The Optune device, manufactured by Novocure, disrupts cancer-cell reproduction by sending alternating positive and negative charges between small ceramic discs embedded in on four sides of the mesh cap.

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