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News From the Food and Drug Administration
November 17, 2015

Expanded Use of Brain Cancer Device

JAMA. 2015;314(19):2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15447

Optune, a portable medical device used to treat the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), has received an expanded indication allowing it to be used as part of standard treatment before the disease progresses (http://1.usa.gov/1jbrVvh).

The device initially was approved in 2011 to treat recurrence or progression of GBM after chemotherapy. With the expanded indication, Optune can be used to treat patients with newly diagnosed GBM along with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide after standard treatment that includes surgery and radiation therapy. The device uses electrodes placed directly against the scalp to deliver low-intensity, alternating electrical fields to the brain using transducer arrays. The fields are intended to destroy brain cancer cells.

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