14 April 2008

Electromagetic fields and brain cancer clinical trial

We have reported for many years that low voltage EM fields will cause cancer cells to self-destruct through apoptosis. There is now a clinical trial on brain cancer patients using continuously applied external electromagetic fields of low voltage and relatively low frequencies (150-200khz). Preliminary results are quite good.

NovoCure - Pivotal (Phase III) Clincal Trial

Cancer Cells

Cancer cells divide and multiply rapidly in the brain. These cancer cells carry special types of electrically charged elements that play a role during the cell division process. Other healthy cells in the brain multiply at a much slower rate, if at all, and thus rarely include the same electric properties as the dividing cancer cells.

Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields)

The NovoTTF-100A device used in this trial delivers very low intensity, alternating electric fields to the tumor site through the scalp. These fields are known as Tumor Treating Fields or TTFields. Due to the unique shape of cancer cells when they are multiplying, TTFields cause the building blocks of these cells to pile up in such a way that the cells physically break apart. In addition, cancer cells also contain miniature building blocks that move essential parts of the cells from place to place during division. TTFields cause these building blocks to fall apart since they have a special type of electric charge. As a result of these two effects, preliminary study data indicate that cancer tumor growth is slowed and may even reverse after continuous exposure to TTFields. Preliminary data also indicate that the TTFields affect the healthy brain cells much less than cancer cells since healthy brain cells multiply at a much slower rate, if at all.


PROCEEDINGS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Published online on June 5, 2007, 10.1073/pnas.0702916104

Medical Sciences
Alternating electric fields arrest cell proliferation in animal tumor models and human brain tumors
( cancer | glioblastoma | tumor treating fields )
Eilon D. Kirson et. al.

Communicated by Joseph Schlessinger, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, April 5, 2007 (received for review January 15, 2007)

We have recently shown that low intensity, intermediate frequency, electric fields inhibit by an anti-microtubule mechanism of action, cancerous cell growth in vitro. Using implanted electrodes, these fields were also shown to inhibit the growth of dermal tumors in mice. The present study extends these findings to additional cell lines [human breast carcinoma; MDA-MB-231, and human non-small-cell lung carcinoma (H1299)] and to animal tumor models (intradermal B16F1 melanoma and intracranial F-98 glioma) using external insulated electrodes. These findings led to the initiation of a pilot clinical trial of the effects of TTFields in 10 patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM). Median time to disease progression in these patients was 26.1 weeks and median overall survival was 62.2 weeks. These time to disease progression and OS values are more than double the reported medians of historical control patients. No device-related serious adverse events were seen after >70 months of cumulative treatment in all of the patients. The only device-related side effect seen was a mild to moderate contact dermatitis beneath the field delivering electrodes. We conclude that TTFields are a safe and effective new treatment modality which effectively slows down tumor growth in vitro, in vivo and, as demonstrated here, in human cancer patients.