The Optune device based on electricity can improve the life expectancy among brain tumor patients


    A cap-like device called Optune, which is known to fight cancer was also seen to enhance the life expectancy rate among those suffering from brain tumor. The device produces an electric field to fight cancer.

    Electric field that treats tumor

    For the study, patients with glioblastoma (GBM) were selected and it was noticed that more than twice the number of people, who were electrocuted have shown an enhanced survival rate of up to five years as compared to those who had undergone only chemotherapy treatment.

    It was estimated that just 5 percent of chemotherapy people were alive after five years of treatment, on contrary, 13 percent people receiving electric field treatment were alive.

    How does the treatment work?

    In the treatment device called Optune was used. The device is available in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and the United States for adults suffering from severe form of cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. The treatment is used along with chemotherapy, which is followed by surgery and radiation to stop the recurrence of tumors.

    The diagnosed people have to use Optune for at least 18 hours daily. The device is cap-like and covers your scalp with electrodes that are attached to a small generator. However, the device does not give the feel of electric shock or radiation, but it produces mild heat.

    The low-intensity and alternating electric field produced by the device can interrupt the cell division process and kills the malignant cells. The device selectively kills only the cancer cells and do not cause destruction to the normal body cells.

    However, this study is facing criticism. Dr. Roger Stupp from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and the lead author of the study said: “ The treatment is skeptical and “out of box” when it comes to treating the disease and many medical experts do not think that this will help patients.”

    The results of the study

    With the help of this new therapy, the researchers noticed an average survival rate of 21 months for patients given the device and chemotherapy treatment. On the other hand, the patients who had chemotherapy alone have shown the survival rate of 16 months. The side effects of this treatment include fatigue, skin irritation and red blood cells count issues. The therapy will cost you $21,000 on monthly basis.