Sat Jul 22, 2017 | 12:52
Electric brain cancer treatment approved
Tue, 19 Apr 2011 06:46:42 GMT
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new noninvasive device that uses electrical energy for treatment of a deadly type of brain cancer.

The portable NovoTFF 100-A System was designed for the treatment of those patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a common form of brain tumor.

The FDA has showed a green light to the use of the new system just in those patients that experience recurrence of the disease or no progress after chemotherapy, radiotherapy or other treatments. The median survival for patients with GBM is just 15 months.

Glioblastoma multiforme is a common type of brain cancer, highly resistant to standard treatments, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, the FDA said in its approval statement.

NovoTTF uses electric fields to prevent the tumor's growth and spread by disrupting the division of cancerous cells. The treatment also has little effect on healthy brain cells because they divide at a much slower rate.

The device, weighing about 2.7 kilograms, delivers low-intensity electrical fields directly to a patient's scalp via four electrodes.

According to the studies, patients that used NovoTTF, lived about as long as those taking chemotherapy, roughly six months. In addition, patients using the device had significantly fewer side effects.

However, the patients that used NovoTTF experienced more neurological side effects, including convulsions and headaches, compared with those who underwent chemotherapy. However, those who wore the device had, generally, a better quality of life than those who received chemotherapy.

SJM/MB
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