A pilot study with very low-intensity, intermediate-frequency electric fields in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic solid tumors

Onkologie. 2008 Jul;31(7):362-5. doi: 10.1159/000137713. Epub 2008 Jun 24.


Background: The transmission of electric fields using insulated electrodes has demonstrated that very low-intensity, properly tuned, intermediate-frequency electric fields, termed tumor-treating fields (TTFields), selectively stunts tumor cell growth and is accompanied by a decrease in tumor angiogenesis.

Patients and methods: This open, prospective pilot study was designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy profile of TTFields treatment in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic solid tumors using the NovoTTF100A(TM) device. All 6 patients were heavily pre-treated with several lines of therapy; no additional standard treatment option was available to them. TTFields treatment using continuous NovoTTF-100A lasted a minimum of 14 days and was very well tolerated.

Results: No related serious adverse events occurred. Outcomes showed 1 partial response of a treated skin metastasis from a primary breast cancer, 3 cases where tumor growth was arrested during treatment, and 1 case of disease progression. One mesothelioma patient experienced lesion regression near TTFields with simultaneous tumor stability or progression in distal areas.

Conclusion: Although the number of patients in this study is small, the lack of therapy toxicity and the efficacy observed in data gathered to date indicate the potential of TTFields as a new treatment modality for solid tumors, definitely warranting further investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / adverse effects
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / trends
  • Electricity / adverse effects
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Skin Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome