For the study, patients with glioblastoma (GBM) were selected and it was noticed that more than twice the number of people, who were electrocuted have shown an enhanced survival rate of up to five years as compared to those who had undergone only chemotherapy treatment.
'We celebrated two years of no tumor in December and went to South Africa'.
"[The cap is] an entirely different way to treat cancer", said study author Dr. Roger Stupp, a professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. When combined with the oral chemotherapy drug temozolomide, it significantly improved survival rates in patients, according to a clinical trial presented at an annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on Sunday, April 2, according to Engadget.
As promising as the device may be though, it has a downside - it costs roughly $700 per day, the Associated Press reports. In the United States, some health insurance companies cover it, whilst others do not.
This new cancer treatment consists of a cap device which produces electric fields.
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On Novocure website we find a lot of data regarding the device, indicating that Tumor Treating Fields represents alternating, low-intensity electric fields which were created to damage the process of division for cancer cells via physical interactions with significant molecules during mitosis in solid tumor cancers. This disruption, the company says, is fatal to cells.
This helps make the cells die. In order for the treatment to be effective, people need to wear the cap for at least 18 hours a day. The device only gives a feel of mild heat and not that of electric current or radiation. And patients can wear a hat over their futuristic-looking medical caps.
At the endpoints, the two-year survival rate improved from 30% to 43% in patients who received both Optune and temozoloide versus those treated with just standard chemotherapy.
The one-year survival rate was 72%, compared to 35% in the historical controls. Plus, patients who used device along with therapy experienced minimal side effects than those with chemo alone. At five years, survival rates jumped from five to 13 percent.
'You can not argue with them - they're great results, ' and unlikely to be due to a placebo effect, said one independent expert, Dr. Antonio Chiocca, neurosurgery chief at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. (Chiocca was not involved with Novocure or the Optune.) He added that the effects were unlikely be due to placebo effect. Pilot tests are also underway for other cancers, such as pancreatic tumors.