Electronic Cap Improves Survival of Patients with Brain Cancer
Providing low frequency electric fields to the scalp of patients with an aggressive type of brain tumors is reported to improve life span of patients.
Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine reported on December 21, 2017, that their device offer can promising results to the patients having brain cancer. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The device delivers low-intensity electric pulses to the brain using nine insulated electrodes, which are placed on the patient’s scalp with the help of a cap. These electric pulses are called as Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields). They interfere with the molecular machinery inside dividing cancer cells.
Study included 695 patients with glioblastoma who had undergone surgery to remove their tumors. Two thirds of patients received the electric cap treatment plus the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (Temodal) rest of the patients were prescribed drug as medication. Survival of patients with drug and the electric therapy was 20.9 months on average as compared to 16 months on chemotherapy alone. The average amount of time where the cancer did not undergo progression was 6.7 months for patients who were on drug with the electronic cap treatment.
According to Deep Brain Stimulation Devices Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, electronic caps can be used to stimulate brain cells which can improve life span of patients with brain cancer. “These results are promising because glioblastoma is so hard to treat and overall survival is stubbornly low,” said Dr. Colin Watts, Cancer Research UK-funded glioblastoma expert. Patients who received the electrical treatment wore the device on their head for around 18 hours a day for 5 days over a 28-day period. This was repeated between 6 and 12 times with the training to operate and maintain the portable device themselves at home. However, the side effects of this treatment were minor as compared to chemotherapy drugs. Major limitation of this therapy is cost of treatment. This device could not be cost-effective option for healthcare systems and patients.
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