Noninvasive application of alternating electric fields in glioblastoma: a fourth cancer treatment modality

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2012;126-31. doi: 10.14694/EdBook_AM.2012.32.122.


Tumor treating fields (TTF) therapy is a novel antimitotic, electric field-based treatment for cancer. This nonchemical, nonablative treatment is unlike any of the established cancer treatment modalities, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Recently, it has entered clinical use after a decade of intensive translational research. TTF therapy is delivered to patients by a portable, battery-operated, medical device using noninvasive transducer arrays placed on the skin surface surrounding the treated tumor. TTF therapy is now a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) who have exhausted surgical and radiation treatments. This article will introduce the basic science behind TTF therapy, its mechanism of action, the preclinical findings that led to its clinical testing, and the clinical safety and efficacy data available to date, as well as offer future research directions on this novel treatment modality for cancer.