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February 07, 2012

Procedure that busts growth of deadly brain tumor cells!

A latest study says that a novel non-invasive procedure called Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) that inhibits the growth of tumor is offering hope to thousands of affected people. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) happens to be the nastiest & the most common brain tumor, affecting ten thousand patients in the United States alone every year!

On the average, a patient with GBM survives less than fifteen months with optimal treatment & only three to five months without additional effective treatment. The TTF procedure, which disrupts rapid cell division exhibited by cancer cells with the help of alternating electrical fields, may provide physicians with a fourth treatment option in addition to surgery, radiation therapy & chemotherapy. 

The director of Neuro-Oncology at University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Centre, Mr. Santosh Kesari said, "Patients with recurrent GBM present a significant treatment challenge." According to a University statement, Kesari said, "The initial clinical research for the approval trial demonstrated that, compared to patients who were treated with chemotherapy, patients treated with NovoTTF achieved comparable survival times, had fewer side-effects & reported improved quality of life." 

TTFs inhibit tumor growth by causing cancerous cells to die. It is delivered using non-invasive, insulated transducer arrays (electrodes) that are placed directly on the skin in the region of the tumor. The hat-like collection of electrodes connects to a portable device which is slightly thicker than a laptop & weighs about six pounds. The device sends a low intensity, alternating electric field into the tumor which prevents the cells from dividing & spreading & also causes cancer cells to die. 

The most commonly reported side-effect from NovoTTF is a mild-to-moderate scalp rash, beneath the electrodes. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved device is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for GBM after surgical & radiation options 've been exhausted. 

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