02 Aug 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: US-based Novocure announced that Dr Tatsunori Okamaura, MD, PhD, of the Kashiwaba Neurosurgical Hospital in Sapporo, Japan, has treated the first patient in Japan with alternating electric field therapy. Dr Okamaura is using NovoTTF Therapy to treat a recurrent glioblastoma tumor, the most common form of primary brain cancer worldwide. Novocure provided the treatment in response to a compassionate use request from the Kashiwaba Neurosurgical Hospital in Sapporo, Japan.
Dr Tatsunori Okamaura said, "NovoTTF Therapy was the best treatment option for this patient. We are very pleased with how quickly Novocure responded to our compassionate use request." "Novocure is committed to providing physicians and patients with appropriate access to NovoTTF Therapy," said Mr Asaf Danziger, chief executive officer of Novocure. "I am proud that our team was able to respond quickly to this request, and ensured that the physician and patient received the clinical and technical support necessary to initiate treatment," he added.
"NovoTTF Therapy is a novel modality for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. We are happy to be the first institution in Japan to offer this treatment to our patient," said Dr Sadao Kaneko, MD, PhD, and director of the Kashiwaba Neurosurgical Hospital.
NovoTTF-100A System is a portable, non-invasive medical device designed for continuous use throughout the day by the patient. The system has been shown in both in vitro and in vivo studies to slow and reverse tumor growth by inhibiting mitosis, the process by which cells divide and replicate. The NovoTTF-100A System, which weighs about six pounds (three kilograms), creates a low intensity, alternating electric field within the tumor that exerts physical forces on electrically charged cellular components, preventing the normal mitotic process and causing cancer cell death prior to division. In patients with recurrent glioblastoma brain tumors, the system has shown clinical efficacy comparable to that of active chemotherapies with better quality of life and without many of the side effects of chemotherapy. The NovoTTF-100A System has received marketing approval in the US and is a CE Marked device cleared for sale in the European Union, Switzerland, Australia and Israel, but is yet to be allowed for marketing in Japan.