2013-05-01 06:02:01 -
/EINPresswire.com/ Using Electrical Fields, NovoTTF™ System Prevents Cancer Cells from Dividing
The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) is one of a small number of centers across the U.S. to offer NovoTTF™-100A, a new device worn on the head of patients with recurrent glioblastoma that destroys cancer cells by creating low intensity electrical fields. The device, which was approved by the FDA in 2011 and is used by top neurosurgeons, is appropriate for many glioblastoma patients whose cancer has recurred in the upper region of their brain after receiving initial standard-of-care treatment.
“We want to make sure our patients have the latest available treatments, whether they are surgical, medical, or in this case, a novel medical device,” says neurosurgeon Lee Tessler, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.N.S., Executive Director of The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at NSPC. “Having an extensive therapeutic armamentarium is especially important in recurrent glioblastoma, which is an extremely aggressive cancer.”
The portable NovoTTF system, which is made by NovoCure, consists of four transducer arrays worn on the scalp wired to a portable power pack. The device produces alternating, low-level, intermediate frequency electrical fields known as “tumor treatment fields” (“TTFs”). Patients wear the device for at least 18 hours a day, and must keep their heads shaved to ensure conductivity.
The device’s tumor treatment fields stop the growth of tumor cells, which normally divide and spread rapidly. The TTF electrical fields physically disrupt cell division, which results in cell death.
The standard treatment for patients with glioblastoma is surgery to remove their tumor, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. When glioblastoma recurs, chemotherapy is typically given.
“This device is intended as a standalone treatment following chemotherapy,” says neuro-oncologist Jai Grewal, M.D., Co-Medical Director of the Center. “It is an alternative to standard medical treatment for recurrent glioblastoma, once surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.”
Malignant brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer deaths in people under 35, and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in people under 54. Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary (non-metastatic) type of brain cancer. Median survival for glioblastomas is 12-14 months, and only 26 percent of patients survive two years.
In a pivotal phase III clinical trial comparing NovoTTF to best supportive chemotherapy in patients with recurrent glioblastomas, overall survival of patients receiving NovoTTF was comparable to the best standard-of-care chemotherapy. There was a slightly higher incidence of some adverse events with NovoTTF. Surveys showed that patients receiving NovoTTF felt they had a better quality of life than those receiving chemotherapy.
“The NovoTTF trial demonstrated that the novel device halts disease progression as well as chemotherapy in recurrent glioblastomas without the side effects of chemotherapy, and, therefore, in many cases with overall improved quality of life,” says neuro-oncologist J. Paul Duic, M.D., Co-Medical Director of the Center. “We want to make sure this novel treatment is available to our patients for these reasons.”
Some patients may not be able to use the NovoTTF device. These include individuals with implanted electrical devices such as deep brain stimulators, vagal nerve stimulators, spinal cord stimulators, cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators.
Top Neurosurgeons from the Long Island Brain Tumor Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. offer a multi-disciplinary approach to treating brain tumors, provided by a team of more than 20 physicians and surgeons with various sub-specialties. The team works in concert with patient's established health care professionals, and treats primary brain and spinal tumors, as well as metastases.
In addition to offering standard-of-care therapies for brain tumors, and novel treatments such as NovoTTF, the Center is currently conducting a number of clinical trials for patients with both newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastomas and metastatic brain tumors. They also treat brain lymphomas and spine tumors.
For more information, please call (516) 478-0010.
About Neurological Surgery, P.C.
Neurological Surgery, P.C. is one of the New York City area’s premier neurosurgical groups, offering patients the most advanced treatments of brain and spine disorders. These include minimally invasive procedures such as stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife® and Novalis Tx™), aneurysm coiling, neuro-endoscopy, spinal stimulators, carotid stents, interventional pain management, microdiscectomy, kyphoplasty, and other types of minimally invasive spine surgery. The practice’s physicians represent a range of surgical and nonsurgical specialties, combining compassionate care with highly specialized training. They are leaders in the region’s medical community, with appointments as chiefs of neurosurgery in some of Long Island’s best hospitals. NSPC offers 10 convenient locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as in Queens and Manhattan. For more information, call 1-800-775-7784 or visit www.NSPC.com.