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Haifa, Israel

Pless M.,Medical Oncology | Pless M.,Tumor Center | Weinberg U.,Novocure Ltd.
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2011

Introduction: Local control is fundamental, both for the curative as well as the palliative treatment of cancer. Tumor treating fields (TTFields) are low intensity (1 2 V/cm), intermediate frequency (100 200 kHz) alternating electric fields administered using insulated electrodes placed on the skin surrounding the region of a malignant tumor. TTFields were shown to destroy cells within the process of mitosis via apoptosis, thereby inhibiting tumor growth. TTFields have no effect on non-dividing cells. Areas covered: This article reviews in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies, demonstrating the activity of TTFields both as a monotherapy as well as in combination with several cytotoxic agents. Furthermore, it summarizes the clinical experience with TTFields, mainly in two indications: one in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme: in a large prospective randomized Phase III trial TTFields was compared with best standard care (including chemotherapy): TTFields significantly improved median overall survival (OS) compared with standard therapy (7.8 vs 6.1 months) for the patients treated per protocol. Importantly, quality of life was also better in the TTFields group. The second indication was a Phase II study in second-line non-small cell lung cancer, where TTFields was administered concomitantly with pemetrexed. This combination resulted in an excellent median OS of 13.8 months. Interestingly, the progression-free survival (PFS) within the area of the TTFields was 28, however, outside the TTFields the PFS was only 22 weeks. Expert opinion: The proof of concept of TTFields has been well demonstrated in the preclinical setting, and the clinical data seem promising in various tumor types. The side effects of TTFields were minimal and in general consisted of skin reaction to the electrodes. There are a number of ways in which TTFields could be further evaluated, for example, in combination with chemotherapy, as a maintenance treatment, or as a salvage therapy if radiotherapy or surgery is not possible. While more clinical data are clearly needed, TTFields is an emerging and promising novel treatment concept. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.


A light generating circuit is implanted in a subjects body and aimed at a target region such as a tumor. A photosensitizer is introduced into the target region, and an AC electric field is induced in the region. The field causes the light generating circuit to generate light, which activates the photosensitizer; and at certain field strengths and frequencies, the field itself has a beneficial effect. The beneficial effects of the field and the activated photosensitizer are thereby obtained simultaneously.


Trademark
NovoCure Ltd | Date: 2016-02-09

Medical device that delivers tumor treating fields (electrical fields) to treat solid tumor cancers.


Patent
Novocure Ltd | Date: 2013-03-08

An electrode for applying electric fields to a patient includes a plurality of ceramic elements (e.g., ceramic discs) that are designed to be positioned against the patients skin. Electrical connections are made to the ceramic elements (e.g., using a flex circuit). Temperature sensors (e.g., thermistors) are preferably provided at at least some of the ceramic elements to sense the temperature at the skin beneath the ceramic elements, so that appropriate action can be taken if an overtemperature condition is detected.


Tumors can be treated with an alternating electric field. The size of cells in the tumor is determined prior to the start of treatment by, for example, biopsy or by inverse electric impedance tomography. A treatment frequency is chosen based on the determined cell size. The cell size can be determined during the course of treatment and the treatment frequency is adjusted to reflect changes in the cell size. A suitable apparatus for this purpose includes a device for measuring the tumor impedance, an AC signal generator with a controllable output frequency, a processor for estimating the size of tumor cells and setting the frequency of the AC signal generator based thereon, and at least one pair of electrodes operatively connected to the AC signal generator such that an alternating electric field is applied to the tumor.

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