National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year
New trial and Swiss approval for Optune
International oncology company, Novocure, has announced a new trial with potential survival benefits for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients.
Optune is a specialist non-invasive medical device being developed by Novocure that sends low intensity, alternating electrical waves – referred to as Tumour Treating Fields (TTF) – through a patient’s head. The TTF are tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt cell division, inhibiting tumour growth and potentially causing cancer cells to die.
This week, Novocure announced that the first patient has been enrolled in its global phase 3 TRIDENT trial, a randomised study in newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) testing the potential survival benefit of initiating Optune concurrent with radiation therapy.
Currently, Optune with maintenance temozolomide is used to treat adults with GBM, following maximal debulking surgery and completion of radiation therapy. However, preclinical studies demonstrate TTF can be used synergistically with radiation therapy, due to increased tumour sensitivity to radiation therapy, further inhibiting DNA damage repair.
Also, this week the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has added Optune in combination with temozolomide to the list of remedies and equipment for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
This treatment is not available in the UK through the NHS. The treatment outside the NHS can cost in the region of £20,000 per patient per month.
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