Optune is a well-established, non-invasive form of treatment for patients with a glioblastoma (GBM). When switched on, the therapy device generates alternating electric fields called Tumor Treating Fields or TTFields. The TTFields help to prevent the glioblastoma cancer cells from dividing. TTFields have also been proven to cause cancer cell death.
OPTUNE ACTS DIRECTLY ON THE TUMOR
The Tumor Treating Fields exert their effect when the cancer cells divide, and according to our current level of knowledge, they do not negatively affect inactive cells. Unlike systemic treatment that occurs when medicine enters the blood circulating in your body, the Tumor Treating Fields are emitted locally, so there was no significant increase in the number of adverse effects observed when treatment with TMZ was added after the Optune therapy. The only common adverse effect related to the device was a skin reaction under the transducer arrays. Please refer to the user manual for a complete list of side effects.
HOW IS THE THERAPY ADMINISTERED?
Optune uses 4 high-tech transducer arrays with ceramic gel pads and integrated temperature sensors to direct the therapy at the tumor. These transducer arrays are attached to the scalp directly and connected to the Optune therapy device. The exact, individualized positioning of the transducer arrays is calculated based on the most recent MRI images of the patient. This will maximize the effect of the TTFields on the tumor.
HOW DOES OPTUNE AFFECT TUMOR CELL DIVISION?
TTFields are wave-like alternating electric fields. The forces generated by TTFields interfere with the cell division process in cancer cells. First of all, finger-like fibers called microtubules rely on their electrical charges to form.
In the presence of TTFields, microtubules are not necessarily able to develop normally and are therefore unable to pull the DNA apart during cell division. This can result in cell division slowing down or stopping, which in turn leads to cell death. If the cell continues to divide in the presence of these fields, the hourglass shape that appears during this process may push the cell components to the center of the dividing cell. This may result in structural damage and cell death. TTFields act on dividing cancer cells but do not usually affect healthy resting cells.