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Tumor Treating Fields

TTF therapy is a locally or regionally delivered treatment that uses electric fields within the human body that disrupt the rapid cell division exhibited by cancer cells.

Tumor Treating Fields

Source: Novocure
TTF therapy is a locally or regionally delivered treatment that uses electric fields within the human body that disrupt the rapid cell division exhibited by cancer cells. TTF therapy was developed to provide physicians and patients with a fourth treatment option for cancer in addition to surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Novocure developed TTF therapy from Prof. Yoram Palti’s novel concept that a cell’s physical properties can serve as targets for an anti-cancer therapy. Specifically, TTF therapy takes advantage of the special characteristics, geometrical shape, and rate of dividing cancer cells, all of which make them susceptible to the effects of alternating electric fields by altering the tumor cell polarity. The frequency used for a particular treatment is specific to the cell type being treated.

TTFields have been shown to disrupt mitotic spindle microtubule assembly and to lead to dielectrophoretic dislocation of intracellular macromolecules and organelles during cytokinesis. These processes lead to physical disruption of the cell membrane and to programmed cell death (apoptosis). The above mechanisms of action are consistent with the extensive research regarding the effects of TTF therapy. These results demonstrate both disruption of cancer cell division up to complete cessation of the process, as well as complete destruction of the dividing cancer cells.

New Therapy Offered for Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma

Source: University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center

Non-invasive treatment uses alternating electrical fields to disrupt tumor growth

Experts in the Department of Radiation Oncology, together with a multidisciplinary team of oncologists and neurosurgeons at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, have begun offering a new treatment for patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a deadly type of brain tumor that is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.

The treatment, known as Tumor Treating Fields (TTF), is delivered to the patient via a device that fits over the scalp like a bathing cap. It works by emitting alternating electrical fields to the tumor that disrupt the division of cancer cells and stop tumor growth. The device was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma in 2011.

“We are very limited in what we have been able to offer these patients once they have had chemotherapy and radiation and their tumor progresses,” says Minesh Mehta, M.B.Ch.B., professor of radiation oncology, medical director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center and associate director of clinical research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. “This new therapy has shown survival in this patient population that is comparable to that achieved with chemotherapy, but with fewer side effects.”

The device will be further studied in a randomized trial being developed by a national co-operative group brain tumor committee led by Dr. Mehta, who is also developing a trial to test whether the device can be combined with stereotactic radiosurgery to delay the use of whole brain radiotherapy in patients with brain metastases.

The TTF device is worn continuously for several hours every day, and patients return for check-ups at one-to-two-month intervals.

“We are encouraged by the results we are seeing in our patients with this very challenging disease,” says William Regine, M.D., professor and Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Published Clinical Trials / Studies / Reviews
Tumor treating fields: a new frontier in cancer therapy.

Long-term survival of patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme treated with tumor-treating fields

Where can I get this treatment and more information?
Ask your doctor/oncologist.

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