FDA Supports use of Optune Medical Device to Treat a Unique Brain Cancer


Published Date : Oct 06, 2015

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), lately, supported the expended indication to use the Optune medical device to treat patients suffering from a different kind of brain cancer. The Optune medical device will be used to cure a newly diagnosed brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) that is an aggressive kind of brain cancer. The Optune medical device will be used with chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ) by following standard treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. 

As per the National Cancer Institute, around 23,000 residents of America were identified with brain cancer or any other nervous system cancers in 2015. GBM roughly accounts for 15% of all different brain tumors. Generally GBM occurs in people aging between 45 and 70 years. As the tumor is highly resistant to many of the standard treatments, patients survive for an average of less than 15 months, following diagnosis. According to William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., the acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the patients diagnosed with GBM will be able to survive longer with the help of the new treatment. Though the new treatment is not a sure cure, it will definitely increase the survival by few months, William said. 

Optune medical device was first tested and approved in 2011 to treat people with GBM that progressed or recurred after chemotherapy. According to the clinical study, people treated with TMZ and the Optune medical device lived three months longer than those who were treated with other traditional treatments and drugs. With the expanded indication, now Optune medical device can be used along with traditional treatments, to treat GBM. For newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme cancer, it is not recommended to use only Optune, rather is can be used as an adjunct therapy.