Acceptance and compliance of TTFields treatment among high grade glioma patients

J Neurooncol. 2018 Aug;139(1):177-184. doi: 10.1007/s11060-018-2858-9. Epub 2018 Apr 11.


Background: Tumor treating fields (TTFields) significantly prolong both progression-free and overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). TTFields are delivered to the brain tumor via skin transducer arrays and should be applied for a minimum of 18 h per day (≥ 75% compliance). This may cause limited acceptance by patients because of obstacles in daily routine. So far, there are limited data on factors influencing therapy acceptance and compliance.

Methods: In this retrospective study, fourty-one patients with primary GBM or recurrent high grade glioma (rHGG) have been treated with TTFields in our department. Compliance reports were generated at the monthly routine check of the device. We investigated demographic data, stage of disease and therapy duration in regard to treatment compliance.

Results: Thirty percent of patients with primary diagnosis of GBM were informed about TTFields. Acceptance rate among these patients was 36%. In this study, TTFields were prescribed in newly diagnosed GBM patients (57%) and in rHGG. Mean treatment compliance was 87% in the total population independent of age, sex and stage of disease. Compliance was not negatively correlated with time on treatment.

Conclusion: TTFields are effective in newly diagnosed GBM, therefore acceptance and compliance is important for GBM treatment. We experienced moderate acceptance rate for TTFields, which is influenced by factors such as social support, comorbidities and independence in daily life. Overall therapy compliance lies above 75% and is not influenced by age, sex, stage of disease or duration of therapy. Improved patient consultation strategies will increase acceptance and compliance for better outcome.

Keywords: Acceptance; Compliance; Glioblastoma; OPTUNE®; TTFields treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Female
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glioma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Patient Compliance