Tumor Treating Fields or TTFields (Optune ™)

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Description
TTFields is an FDA-approved novel therapeutic option which studies have shown slows and reverses tumor growth by inhibiting mitosis (the process by which cells divide and replicate).

Purpose
TTFields was recenlty approved in the U.S. for glioblastoma (GBM) in combination with temozolomide for the treatment of newly diagnosed adult patients.  Usually treatment with TTFields follows surgery and radiation therapy.


TTFields is also approved in the U.S. for treatment of recurrent GBM as a monotherapy after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.


How TTFields works
Adhesive bandages hold insulated ceramic discs (transducer arrays) that deliver electricity transformed into electromagnetic energy to the scalp.  The battery operated-TTF device generates low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electrical fields to the brain. These electrical fields exert selective toxicity in proliferating cells thereby halting cell division and destroying the cancer cells.


Currently, a physician must prescribe the TTField device which is available under the brand name Optune. The prescribing physician will provide instructions for using the device, replacing transducer arrays (every 4 to 7 days), and recharging and replacing batteries.

Patients must wear the device for at least 18 hours a day, taking only short breaks for personal needs, and use the device for at least four weeks.


Potential Side Effects
The most common adverse reaction is a mild to moderate skin irritation.