Could the use of electric fields turn out to be the missing link in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma?
Novocure, a global oncology company headquartered on the Channel Island of Jersey, has been investigating the use of what they call Tumor Treating Fields on mesothelioma tumors, and recently reported positive top-line results in its use.
The company will now be pursuing a Humanitarian Device Exemption with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in order to market the protocol as a treatment for pleural mesothelioma in the U.S.
“We are extremely pleased with these top-line results, which bring us one step closer to realizing the potential for a new treatment for mesothelioma patients in desperate need,” said Dr. Eilon Kirson, Novocure’s Chief Science Officer and Head of Research and Development.
The Tumor Treating Fields, are already approved for the treatment of patients with glioblastoma, and are currently undergoing clinical trials for their use in non-small cell lung cancer, brain metastases, pancreatic cancer, and ovarian cancer as well as in mesothelioma.
The use of the Tumor Treating Fields has the additional advantage of having no device-related serious adverse events in the first 42 mesothelioma patients receiving the treatment under the clinical trial. Small devices are placed on the body and tuned to frequencies that have been found to interrupt and stop the division of cancer cells in tumors.
When combined with the standard mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment of pemetrexed and cisplatin, its use delivered a one-year survival rate of 80 percent compared to 50 percent with chemotherapy alone, and median progression free survival was 7.3 months compared to 5.7 months with chemotherapy alone.
These results represented an improvement over initial reports in December 2016, at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer.
“Mesothelioma is the first torso indication for which Novocure will pursue FDA approval. The STELLAR data reinforce our belief that Tumor Treating Fields may be a broadly applicable platform technology for the treatment of solid tumors,” Dr. Kirson said.
“We look forward to sharing the detailed results of the study with the lung cancer community at an upcoming medical conference.”
There are medical breakthroughs being made in the treatment of mesothelioma every day. If you or someone you love has this rare asbestos-related disease and you need more information, call 1-800-692-8608 to speak to one of Mesothelioma.net’s helpful Patient Advocates.