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Tumor-treating Fields Therapy Improves Survival in Glioblastoma Patients

by Hannah Joy on December 20, 2017 at 12:47 PM
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Tumor-treating Fields Therapy Improves Survival in Glioblastoma Patients

Glioblastoma patients who received a tumor-treating fields therapy were found to have better overall survival, as there was no progression of the tumor, reveals a new study.

Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain tumor, with only 1 in 4 patients surviving two years after diagnosis. There has been little progress in treating these tumors.

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Tumor-treating fields (TTFields) are a type of electric fields therapy that interferes with cell division by delivering low-intensity electric fields to the tumor through electrodes on the scalp and connected to a portable device.

About 695 patients with glioblastoma whose tumor was surgically removed or biopsied and who had completed chemotherapy. Patients were enrolled in the study from 2009-2014 and followed up through 2016.
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Patients were treated with either TTFields plus the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (n = 466) or temozolomide alone (n = 229). Researchers measured survival without progression of the tumor and overall survival.

This was a randomized clinical trial (RCT), which allows for the strongest inferences to be made about the true effect of an intervention. However, not all RCT results can be replicated in real-world settings because patient characteristics or other variables may differ from those that were studied in the RCT.

The authors were Roger Stupp, M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and coauthors.

The addition of TTFields to chemotherapy vs chemotherapy alone resulted in improvement in overall survival and progression-free survival.

The study limitations were that the participants and research team knew of the treatments because it was not feasible practically and it was ethically unacceptable to expose patients to a sham device.

Source: Eurekalert
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