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New Phase II Clinical Trial of Tumor Treating Fields Begins in Europe

Physicians in Europe have begun enrolling patients from Germany, Italy and Poland to participate in the STELLAR trial, an open-label, single-arm Phase II trial of Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields protocol, a novel therapy that is being delivered along with pemetrexed and cisplatin or carboplatin to patients suffering from malignant mesothelioma. The therapy was developed for the treatment of solid tumors, and though testing has already been done on patients suffering from non-small-cell lung cancer patients, the testing is being done because there is hope that it will also be useful in the treatment of mesothelioma’s locally-spreading tumors.

Tumor Treating Fields is a therapy that has been developed by Novocure, a private company based in Jersey Isle in the United Kingdom. The company also has locations in the United States in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and New York, New York. They also have offices in Switzerland and Japan and a research center located in Israel. The therapy is administered via a portable, non-invasive medical device that creates low intensity, alternating electric fields within a tumor. The hope is that the force provided by the stimulation prevents the normal mitotic process within the tumor and causes the cancer cells to die.

The STELLAR trial is expected to include a total of 80 patients, and the first was recently unrolled by Giovanni Luca Ceresoli, MD, Head of the Thoracic and Genito-Urinary Oncology Unit at the Humanitas Hospital in Bergamo, Italy. The physician said, “We have long waited to test a novel therapy in mesothelioma and are proud to pioneer enrollment in the STELLAR trial. Due to the clinical and pathological course of this cancer, standard treatment methods rarely lead to a complete cure and new effective treatments are not available. TTFields have been shown to be safe in non-small-cell lung cancer patients and we believe TTFields could be an ideal treatment for the locally-spreading mesothelioma tumor.”

Though TTFields has not been approved for the treatment of mesothelioma, there is great hope for its efficacy in this rare disease. Novocure’s Chief Executive Officer Azaf Danziger said, “Novocure is committed to testing TTFields in multiple solid tumor cancers. While large, Phase III trials are planned in highly prevalent lung and brain cancers later in 2015, we will continue to investigate TTFields in rare cancers with limited effective treatment options.”

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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