Behind the Mystery: Glioblastoma Multiforme Sponsored by Novocure®
November 16, 2020
Glioblastoma multiforme or GBM is a rare brain tumor, that can be difficult to treat and has a poor prognosis.
Glioblastoma multiforme is a type of tumor that occurs in the brain. Treating GBMs is a challenging task, not only because of location of the tumor, but because of its complexity. Novocure®, a global oncology company, is working to extend survival in some of the most aggressive forms of cancer by developing and commercializing its innovative therapy, Tumor Treating Fields. Optune® is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) that creates low-intensity, wave-like electric fields called Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), which interfere with GBM cell division. This action slows or stops GBM tumor cells from dividing and may destroy them. GBM patient Jeanneane shares her story from her shocking diagnosis to how she is doing today. We also hear from Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, a neuro-oncologist who educates us on common symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
What is Optune® approved to treat?
Optune is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.
Newly diagnosed GBM
If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:
- Your cancer is confirmed by your healthcare professional AND
- You have had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible
If your tumor has come back, Optune can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:
- You have tried surgery and radiation and they did not work or are no longer working AND
- You have tried chemotherapy and your GBM has been confirmed by your healthcare professional
Who should not use Optune?
Optune is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:
- An implanted medical device (programmable shunt), skull defect (missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragment. Optune has not been tested in people with implanted electronic devices, which may cause the devices not to work properly, and Optune has not been tested in people with skull defects or bullet fragments, which may cause Optune not to work properly
- A known sensitivity to conductive hydrogels (the gel on the arrays placed on the scalp like the ones used on EKGs). When Optune comes into contact with the skin, it may cause more redness and itching or may rarely cause a life-threatening allergic reaction
Do not use Optune if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Optune is safe or effective during pregnancy.
What should I know before using Optune?
Optune should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure®, the maker of Optune.
- Do not use any parts that did not come with the Optune Treatment Kit sent to you by Novocure or given to you by your doctor
- Do not get the device or transducer arrays wet
- If you have an underlying serious skin condition on the scalp, discuss with your doctor whether this may prevent or temporarily interfere with Optune treatment
What are the possible side effects of Optune?
Most common side effects of Optune when used together with chemotherapy (temozolomide, or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, scalp irritation from the device, headache, seizure, and depression. The most common side effects when using Optune alone were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headache. Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions.
Please visit Optune.com/Safety for the Optune Instructions For Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device’s indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.
(C)2020 Novocure. All rights reserved. Optune, Novocure,and nCompass are trademarks of Novocure GmbH. All other trademarks, registered or unregistered are the property of their respective owners.
US-OPT-04092 November 2020
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD®) is celebrating Rare Disease Day 2021 with The Balancing Act.
Travis Flores is a 29-year-old cystic fibrosis survivor and a recipient of a very rare third double-lung transplant in May 2020.
The Balancing Act has partnered with the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and WEGO Health to shine a light on rare diseases and the impact they have on patients.