Optune, a Tumor Treating Fields delivery system, provides a novel, non-invasive treatment for recurrent glioblastoma, the most common malignant primary brain cancer
Physicians at 23 brain cancer centers in Japan are now certified to provide Optune to recurrent glioblastoma patients on prescription order
St. Helier, Jersey – May 27, 2015 – Novocure, a commercial stage oncology company, announced today that 31 neurosurgeons at medical centers across Japan are trained and certified to prescribe Optune. These physicians are now able to treat recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) patients using this novel, anti-mitotic therapy on prescription order. The certification training coincided with the grand opening celebration for Novocure’s new Japanese headquarters in the Chiyoda-ku district of Tokyo and represents an important milestone for Novocure’s expansion into Japan, the world’s second largest medical device market.
In conjunction with the commercial launch, Novocure also announced today the launch of its product website in Japan, http://www.optune.com/japan. The website provides a one-stop resource in Japanese for healthcare professionals seeking information on Optune for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma.
“We are honored to be working with such world-renowned oncology experts to provide Optune to recurrent GBM patients,” said Shungo Matori, General Manager Japan and Representative Director of Novocure K.K. “Training leading physicians at these medical centers is the first step in the commercial launch of our product in Japan.”
“I am very pleased and excited to be working with Novocure to develop the training and certification curriculum for Optune,” said Masao Matsutani, MD, PhD, Honorary Member of the Japanese Society of Neuro-Oncology and Professor Emeritus Saitama Medical University and Faculty Director for Optune certification training in Japan.
“Training our neurosurgery colleagues on Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) and the anti-mitotic mode of action is very important. This will allow physicians to offer the best possible care for their patients with recurrent GBM,” said Ryo Nishikawa, MD, PhD, President of the Japanese Society of Neuro-Oncology, Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Saitama International Medical Center, Saitama Medical University and Training Director for Optune certification training in Japan.
Recently trained treatment centers and their key contacts include:
- Hamamatsu University; Naoto Sakai, MD, PhD
- Hiroshima University; Kazuhiko Sugiyama, MD, PhD and Fumiyuki Yamazaki, MD, PhD
- Hokusei Brain and Heart; Tatsunori Okamura, MD, DMSc
- Izumiostu Municipal; Naohiro Tsuyuguchi, MD, PhD
- International Medical Center Saitama Medical Center; Ryo Nishikawa, MD
- Japanese Red Cross Medical Center; Yusuke Tabei, MD, PhD
- Kagawa University; Masaki Okada, MD, PhD
- Kansai Medical University; Akio Asai, MD, PhD
- Kashiwaba Neurosurgical; Sadeo Kaneko, MD
- Kyorin University; Keiichi Kobayashi, MD, PhD and Motoo Nagane, MD, PhD
- Kyoto Medical Center; Tomokazu Aoki MD, PhD
- Kyoto University; Yoshiki Arakawa MD, PhD and Yohei Mineharu, MD, PhD
- Kyushu University; Koji Yoshimoto, MD, PhD and Daisuke Kuga, MD, PhD
- Kurosawa; Masao Matsutani, MD
- Nagoya University; Kazuya Motomura, MD, PhD and Toshihiko Wakabayashi, MD, PhD
- National Cancer Center; Yoshitaka Narita MD, PhD
- Okayama University; Tomotsugu Ichikawa, MD, PhD
- Osaka Medical College; Shin-Ichi Miyatake, MD, PhD
- Osaka University; Hideyuki Arita, MD, PhD and Naoya Hashimoto, MD, PhD
- Saitama Medical University; Takamitsu Fujimaki, MD, PhD
- Tohoku University; Ryuta Saito, MD, PhD
- Tokyo Women’s Medical University; Yoshihiro Muragaki, MD, PhD and Masayuki Nitta, MD, PhD
Glioblastoma is the most common form of primary brain cancer with approximately 1,600 patients diagnosed each year in Japan and approximately 10,000 patients diagnosed each year in the US. The disease is known as recurrent glioblastoma when the tumor progresses or recurs after initial treatment. Overall survival from the time of recurrence has been reported at 3.5 months without effective treatment.
Optune is a portable, non-invasive medical device designed for continuous use by patients. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that Optune slows and reverses tumor growth by inhibiting mitosis, the process by which cells divide and replicate. Optune creates a low intensity, alternating electric field within a tumor that exerts physical forces on electrically charged cellular components, preventing the normal mitotic process and causing cancer cell death. Optune has received marketing approval in the United States (US) and Japan and is a CE Marked device approved for sale in the European Union, Switzerland, Australia and Israel.
Optune (the NovoTTF-100A System) is approved in Japan for the treatment of adult patients with recurrent supra-tentorial glioblastoma after all possible surgical and radiation therapy options have been exhausted.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Optune for use as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma, following histologically or radiologically-confirmed recurrence in the supra-tentorial region of the brain after receiving chemotherapy. The device is intended to be used as monotherapy, and is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for glioblastoma after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted. Patients should only use Optune under the supervision of a physician properly trained in use of the device. Full prescribing information is available at www.optune.com/safety or by calling toll free 1-855-281-9301.
Novocure is a private oncology company pioneering a novel therapy for solid tumors called Tumor Treating Fields. Headquartered in Jersey Isle, Novocure’s US operations are based in Portsmouth, NH and New York, NY. Additionally, the company has offices in Switzerland and Japan and a research center in Haifa, Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit www.novocure.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/novocure.