The Novocure cap is a new device used for brain cancer. It is a unique medical device that patients with terminal brain cancer, glioblastoma, relies on to attack their cancer cells.
Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive and deadly forms of brain cancer. Nausea inducing chemotherapy can prolong life by a few months, but the Novocure cap is the innovative device which is a gentler treatment.
The Novocure cap is an electric helmet looks goofy, but it zaps deadly brain cancer.
The ability of the device to prevent what doctors call “progression” or spread of the cancer is a very important aspect to the patient’s life.
Some patients who are given 6 to 18 months to live beat the odds and are still alive after 2 years due to the Novocure cap.
Some of the patients involved in the clinical trial only received chemotherapy and did not undergo treatment from the Novocure cap.
Due to the success of the device, the Food and Drug Administration recently required the Novocure cap be made available to all patients participating in the study.
Novocure’s Chief Science Officer told CBS News that the device will likely receive FDA approval in 2015 to treat newly diagnosed brain cancer patients. The Novocure cap is already available for patients suffering from reoccurring brain cancer, which means the cancer came back after undergoing surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
The FDA has already approved Novocure’s similar device, NovoTTF which uses electricity to disrupt mitosis, or the process by which one cell becomes two. Cancer can be simply described as mitosis gone wild. NovoTTF’s alternating electric field disturbs the electric dipole that forms when a cell divides in two. The resulting cells are not viable and then die. The therapy is most effective when the cap is worn more than 18 hours a day.
This experimental treatment for the most common form of brain cancer is showing promise.