Tumor Treating Fields May Help Battle Mesothelioma
It’s a new kind of treatment that could likely become one of the biggest advances in cancer therapies, and clinical trials are already showing positive results.
It’s not a medicine, so to speak, and is certainly different from standard treatments like chemo and radiation, but Optune – produced by Novocure – is certainly making the oncologists of the world stand up and listen.
Optune is a device, not a drug, and it’s been used quite successfully in stage 3 trials with patients with glioblastoma, a historically-difficult form of brain cancer to treat; a cancer that has traditionally responded poorly to most therapies.
This non-invasive device consists of four transducers placed on the scalp, which produce electric fields called Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), which work on the lesion in conjunction with chemotherapy or other drugs.
The combination has produced excellent results thus far, and scientists are extending their trials to other types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma.
Novocure released the following information about Optune and mesothelioma.
“In April, a study of the TTFields concept in unresectable previously untreated pleural mesothelioma again saw positive mid-stage results. The device trumped standard chemotherapy with pemetrexed with either cisplatin or carboplatin in improving both OS (overall survival) and PFS (progression-free survival).”
Study authors also reported that the device significantly extended survival rates in the meso patients that were involved in the trial. The extension in OS was by 6.1 months over standard therapy, which is a whopping 33% increase.
Though it might seem like a trivial number, it’s a godsend for patients and is exciting news in regards to the treatment of asbestos-caused cancer, which usually carries with it a very poor prognosis.