Optune (TTF): An alternative treatment for Brain Tumours; but expense rules it out in the UK

2015 Research

The Optune Treatment is a successful treatment, according to American phase III Clinical Trials, for grade 4 brain cancer (Glioblastoma multiforme) and the web page gives examples of people going about their daily business with the electrical arrays fitted.

It was approved for use with glioma in 2011 by the FDA.
 
There is the link to the Phase III Clinical Trial: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/search/view?cdrid=647437&version=HealthProfessional

There is also a TED link. http://www.novocure.com/our-therapy.aspx  
 
The process involves electrical fields, which exert a physical force that is sufficient to stop the processes of cancer cell division and even causes cancer cell death prior to division. As a result, cancer tumour growth is slowed and can even reverse after continuous exposure to the Optune (TTFields). TTF denotes Tumour Treatment Fields.

Clearly, this treatment offers the potential to slow or even reverse brain tumour development with very few, if any, side effects. These seem confined to skin irritations from the electrodes. It is currently designed for long-term use (and research is currently taking place with other cancers).

The patient wears the electrodes all day allowing him or her to lead a normal life.
 
Unfortunately, at the moment, the equipment is only for hire by Novacare and the cost is roughly £15,000 per month, which is certainly well beyond most British people’s financial means.

Having said that, as of January 2015, the Optune treatment is not available in Britain. The treatment is well developed for use in America and clinics and hospitals use it in Europe (especially Germany).

Before Christmas a conversation with BBH, a clinic in Dusseldorf (run by Professor Emeritus, Dr Frank Ulrich) ascertained that they no problems with treating UK patients. Although the treatment is not available in the UK, Professor Christer Lindquist of the Cromwell Hospital in London, (who is the Gamma Knife Centre surgeon)  seems keen to carry out Optune (Nova TTF) treatment.

We did cover Nova TTF before in Cancer Watch.  Prior to 14th November 2014 it was called Novocure.


2015 Research
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