The first Patient Begins Newly Approved Mesothelioma Treatment
In May of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved of a new noninvasive electric therapy treatment called the Novocure NovoTTF-100L. This new approval of the tumor treating fields device is the first new treatment for pleural mesothelioma that has been approved by the FDA in more than fifteen years. Previous to the approval of this new system, chemotherapy was the only FDA approved treatment of unresectable pleural mesothelioma. A patient at West Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee will be the first person to begin this newly approved treatment. The device was approved due to the positive results from a STELLAR clinical trial.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most commonly diagnosed mesothelioma, making up about 75 percent of all cases. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs. This cancer occurs when asbestos fibers are inhaled and become trapped in the lining of the lungs called the pleura. If you or a loved one have been wrongly exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a West Virginia Mesothelioma Lawyer at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. can help you seek compensation today.
How does NovoTTF-100L Work?
This device delivers low intensity alternating electric fields to interfere with the division of cancer cells. This device is specified for patients with pleural mesothelioma. The NovoTTF-100L is paired with chemotherapy, which is a very common treatment for cancer. However, mesothelioma is such an invasive type of cancer that it does not typically respond well to typical chemotherapy.
The device is wearable, lightweight, and battery operated. This allows the patient to receive treatment at home. The patient also wears four transducer arrays to ensure the fields are delivered to the patient’s torso non-invasively. The patient at the West Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee will be wearing the device 18 hours every day. Tumor Treating Fields devices were first used in the treatment of glioblastoma brain cancer. The device is also being tested on ovarian, pancreatic, and small-cell lung cancer. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, the device is not a cure. However, it is able to extend the time patients have and give them significant benefits.
This device is so unlike other mesothelioma treatments because it doesn’t involve any surgery or any medical devices to be placed inside the body.
In the STELLAR clinical trial put on by Novocure, there were increased survival rates for patients with pleural mesothelioma. The trial was held at different cancer centers in Europe and included 80 patients with untreated pleural mesothelioma. The survival rate for patients with pleural mesothelioma who were treated with just chemotherapy was an average of 12.1 months. When the chemotherapy was paired with the Tumor Treating Fields device their survival rate increased to an average of 18.2 months. There were no reported cases of extra major side effects or toxicity with the system.
In the clinical trial, more than 97 percent of patients saw a benefit and response to the device. As for side effects, the most reported side effect was skin irritation, but only 46 percent of patients saw this side effect. Additionally, only four percent reported severe skin irritation. There was no increase in systematic events when the device was paired with chemotherapy.
The device is not designed to be a first option treatment. Instead, it is great to use in addition to chemotherapy or for patients who have had surgery yet have tumor progression. Mesothelioma is an extremely dangerous cancer because there is no cure yet. However, scientific progressions such as this give hope to a future cure and a better way of life for patients diagnosed. Speak with a Mesothelioma lawyer at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. to get help now!