Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Optune for brain cancer

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Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) offers Optune (previously known as the NovoTTF-100A System), a device used to treat adult patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a form of brain cancer.

What is Optune?

Optune is a portable, battery-operated medical device that connects to the scalp. It is made up of two main components:

  1. An electric field generator
  2. Four INE insulated transducer arrays

How does Optune work?

Essentially, Optune creates an electric field around the tumor to disrupt the growth and reproduction of cancer cells in the brain.

First, insulated transducer arrays (electrodes) are placed on the scalp using special adhesive material. The transducer arrays deliver low-intensity, alternating electrical fields (called tumor treating fields, or “TTFields”) to the brain to disrupt tumor cell division and inhibit tumor growth.

Depending on the patient's treatment plan, the oncologist may have him or her wear the device for at least 18 hours per day, for at least four weeks. After charging the battery, the patient may be able to carry the device in a special shoulder bag or backpack for a few hours at a time to receive treatment without disrupting his or her daily routine.

What are the potential benefits of Optune?

Optune provides a noninvasive option for patients with a recurrence of GBM for whom treatments like surgery, radiation or cancer drug therapy didn’t produce sufficient results.

The TTFields have been shown to have little effect on normal adult brain cells. And since the TTFields are only applied to the brain, they do not affect rapidly multiplying cells in the rest of the body.

The most commonly reported side effect from Optune is a mild to moderate scalp rash (beneath the electrodes).

Who is eligible for Optune?

Optune is generally used for patients who have a recurrence of cancer in the brain after receiving chemotherapy, and after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.

Patients with an active implanted medical device (e.g., a pacemaker), a skull defect (e.g., a missing bone with no replacement) or bullet fragments are not eligible to use Optune.

Where is Optune being offered?

CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa and CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion offer the NovoTTF-100A System, made by NovocureTM.

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