Alternating Electrical Fields Enhance Glioblastoma Chemo Treatment.

In Brain Cancer, Brain Science by Brainy Days Ahead

Low-intensity, alternating electric fields are called TTFields for tumor-treating fields because they exert anticancer effects by blocking cell division. Glioblastoma is the deadliest cancer of the central nervous system. In a new study by reseachers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, patients with glioblastoma wore a medical device that delivers TTFields in addition to being treated with the chemotherapeutic temozolomide. The median overall survival for patients randomly assigned TTFields and temozolomide was 21 months, compared with 16 months for those randomly assigned temozolomide alone. The hazard ratio for overall survival was 0.63, meaning that patients randomly assigned TTFields and temozolomide had a 37 percent lower risk of death than those randomly assigned temozolomide alone. For patients with glioblastoma, the TTFields are delivered continuously to the brain by a patient-operated, wearable medical device. Researchers found that patients learned how to operate the device very quickly, often in less than an hour. This breakthrough in the use of TTFields is causing “outside the box” thinking to explore other treament combinations that might benefit patients.