George Ansstas, MD
In a separate interview, George Ansstas, MD, a medical neuro-oncologist at Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University, St. Louis, discussed his experience in treating patients with tumor-treating fields. He has treated about 35 patients with glioblastoma in the first-line setting and 20 with recurrent disease using this novel technology.
“The phase III study provides strong evidence in support of this therapy. The 5-month difference in survival in this large randomized trial is clinically relevant and statistically significant. I recommend this treatment to all comers who fit the study criteria: no evidence of disease progression, no electromagnetic device [eg, pacemaker], and no missing bone due to brain surgery. We do feel strongly about offering this therapy,” Dr. Ansstas stated.
The side-effect profile is relatively benign, with skin irritation as the main effect. Tumor-treating fields do not affect any organ system (other than skin), and no monitoring is necessary except checking for dermatitis.
“Some patients have concerns about shaving their head every 3 days, and compliance can be challenging, because you have to wear the device 18 hours a day every day. We try to help our patients deal with this by reinforcing the survival benefit,” he stated. ■
Disclosure: Dr. Ansstas is on the speakers bureau and advisory board for Novocure.
Using a novel approach called tumor-treating fields—which involves the delivery of low-intensity electric fields to the brain by a patient-operated device—along with standard-of-care temozolomide therapy improved overall survival and progression-free survival vs temozolomide alone in patients with...