Monday, 25 September, 2017

A 'sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors, study finds

A 'sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors, study finds 'Sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors, finds study
Sammy Stanley | 16 April, 2017, 01:32

The presentation of the analysis was made at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting which was of course held in Washington D.C.From the results obtained from the research, it was clear that indeed Optune in a major way improved the overall survival rates and that was a good promise to the cancer patients for a start. When combined with chemotherapy, patients have 13% increased chances of surviving for five years, compared to 5% of those who only undergo chemo.

Novocure, which markets a wearable device that treats brain cancer, unveiled positive survival data for the phase 2 pilot trial of its noninvasive therapy in patients with pancreatic cancer.

It's sold in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and Japan for adults with an aggressive cancer called glioblastoma multiforme, and is used with chemo after surgery and radiation to try to keep these tumors from recurring, as most do. Of course, these electrodes are connected to a small generator, which is wired and can simply be kept in a small bag.

They can wear a hat, go about their usual lives, and are supposed to use the device at least 18 hours a day.

TTFields (Optune; Novocure) are low-intensity electric fields alternating at an intermediate frequency (200kHz) that are thought to exert anticancer effects by blocking cell division. However, when compared to the introduction of the cap into the mix, survival rates for the same periods reached 43 percent, 26 percent, 20 percent, and 13 percent respectively. Glioblastoma is a common type of brain cancer - about 12,500 people are diagnosed with it in the US each year, according to Novocure - and is considered extremely aggressive.

"You can not argue with them - they're great results", chuckles Brigham and Women's Hospital chief of neurosurgery, Dr. Antonio Chiocca, noting also that the results are not likely a result of some kind of placebo effect. The therapy will cost you $21,000 on monthly basis.

A study involving newly diagnosed patients was stopped in 2014 after 18 months of tracking participants because those who used the device were found to live several months longer on average. Some reported feeling weak and scalp irritation, but these side effects were relatively minor.

But it comes with a steep price-around $700 a day the AP reports. In the USA, some health insurance companies cover it, whilst others do not.

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