The innovative cancer treatment for brain tumors was invented in Israel and received FDA approval.
A new Israeli helmet-like device called Optune prevents malignant brain tumors from growing by delivering a series of electronic pulses.
Optune is both wearable and portable, and received FDA approval for its unique delivery method, which sends “TTFields” that fight glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer.
GBM tumors start in the brain, as opposed to other parts of the body, and grow quickly. GBM’s effects include headaches, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, seizures, weakness on one side of the body, difficulty with memory or speech, and changes in vision
While GBM is difficult to treat because tumors are often located in hard-to-reach spots in the brain, Optune can help and patients in Israel are already benefiting from the technology.
For example, Michael Parnaski received Optune treatment at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital after trying chemotherapy and radiation treatments without success, reported YNET.
“I have great faith in this device,” Parnaski said, who explained that his tumor had not worsened since he began treatment with Optune.
Some countries in Europe and Canada have approved the device for treating adults with glioblastoma and the US allows its use for treating mesothelioma as well. These are two of the most aggressive forms of cancer.
According to Novocure, which developed Optune, the device has very few side-effects. The most common complaint is skin irritation and headaches.
A study performed by Novocure demonstrated that people who used Optune were “able to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical well-being longer than those on chemotherapy alone.”
The device weighs just 2.7 pounds and is portable, allowing patients to receive continuous treatment while out and about.