Swedish Offers New Treatment for Glioblastoma Brain Tumors

February 06, 2013

By Swedish News

SEATTLE, Feb. 6, 2013 – Swedish Neuroscience Institute has added a new and innovative therapy to its treatment arsenal for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a very aggressive and difficult to control brain tumor.

The NovoTTF™-100A System is the first device to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as a treatment for brain tumors. It will now play an important role in treating GBM when standard treatment options have been exhausted. Because there are minimal treatment-related side effects with the NovoTTF-100A System, the quality of life for patients treated with this new therapy is superior to that associated with chemotherapy.

GBM was the cause of death of United States Senator Ted Kennedy. It is the most common and malignant type of brain tumor. Standard treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and radiosurgery (such as Gamma Knife® or CyberKnife®). These treatments usually control the tumor for only one to two years.

The NovoTTF-100A System is a medical device that delivers intermediate-frequency, alternating electrical fields to the tumor. Alternating electrical fields inhibit cell division (mitosis) in the tumor, potentially slowing or stopping tumor growth.

The device comprises two components: a portable electrical source (the electric field generator) and four large patches, each containing nine ceramic discs called transducer arrays. The patches form a cap-like device that is affixed to the patient’s scalp with adhesive. The electrical source can be plugged into a wall outlet or can run on batteries, giving patients the freedom to go about their daily activities. The FDA approved the system for the treatment of recurrent GBM in April 2011.

“We are still learning the appropriate role and timing for the NovoTTF-100A System in patients with recurrent GBM,” says John W. Henson, M.D., FAAN, a neuro-oncologist at the Ivy Center. “However, we see it as an important treatment option for patients who cannot undergo additional surgery or chemotherapy.”

Swedish Neuroscience Institute is one of the few centers in the United States whose clinical staff has been trained and certified in the use of this new system. It is also the only study location in the Northwest participating in a related clinical trial that is evaluating the use of the NovoTTF-100A System as treatment immediately after a patient is diagnosed with GBM. In this study, the system is used in addition to radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

More information about the NovoTTF-100A System is available at www.novottftherapy.com.

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About Swedish

Founded in 1910, Swedish is the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcente or www.twitter.com/swedish.

About Swedish Neuroscience Institute

In 2004, Swedish expanded its neuroscience services by establishing the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI). Since then, a team of leading specialists has built a world-class institute dedicated solely to the treatment and advancement of neurological disorders for patients in the Pacific Northwest and from around the world. The specialists at SNI are dedicated to the treatment and research of neurological disorders. The institute is located at Swedish/Cherry Hill in Seattle and includes a team of neurologists, neurosurgeons and subspecialists who are focused on expanding access to critical neuroscience services and specialized treatments. SNI has made a commitment to ensuring quality outcomes by acquiring the most advanced technology and by participating in leading-edge research.

About the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment

Opened in 2008, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment (Ivy Center) gives brain-tumor patients and their family’s access to a unique multidisciplinary team of skilled neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and a specialized nursing staff to deliver coordinated care and innovative treatments for both benign and malignant brain tumors. The Ivy Center’s unique design places its world-class research facility directly adjacent to the outpatient clinic, providing patients with immediate access to promising new therapies. As part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute located in the Swedish/Cherry Hill campus, the Ivy Center is the first brain tumor-specific, community-based facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and is providing new hope for patients with all stages of brain tumors, including brain cancer.