PINEHURST – Patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadly form of primary brain cancer, now have a new treatment option at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
Recently approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the wearable and portable Optune device has been shown in clinical trials to safely deliver uninterrupted therapy to the area of the brain where a tumor is located. The treatment is often used in conjunction with continuing chemotherapy after a patient has already undergone surgery followed by an initial round of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Radiation oncologists Stephen King, M.D.; Jeffrey Acker, M.D.; and Sushma Patel, M.D.; and medical oncologist Charles Kuzma, M.D., have completed the FDA-required training for the treatment that is offered at only six other medical facilities in North Carolina.
“Using a cap fitted with electrodes and worn on the head all day and night, Optune uses alternating electric fields to disrupt the tumor in the vital process of cell division,” Dr. King says. “If cells don’t divide, the tumor doesn’t grow.”
According to Matt Sherer, administrative director of the Oncology Service Line at Moore Regional, a physician prescribes the Optune treatment in partnership with Novocure, the oncology company that developed it. Patients, who can qualify for the treatment only after the completion of other indicated therapy, must be adults 22 years of age or older with radiologically confirmed GBM.
In addition to their physician and hospital support, Optune patients and their caregivers have a dedicated Novocure device support specialist (DSS) and access to 24/7 technical support.