A new world of non-invasive and nontoxic therapy for brain cancer including many exciting possibilities for the future is what this new milestone for brain cancer treatment has uncovered.
HOUSTON — A prototype of the Oncomagnetic Device helmet works by utilizing oscillating magnetic fields (OMF) by rotating strong permanent magnets near the target area (in this case, the head). After many successful trials with mice, and with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this technology was finally tried on a human, resulting in promising findings.
The patient was a 53-year-old man suffering from glioblastoma (GBM), a rare fast-growing aggressive brain and spinal cord cancer— even known as the deadliest brain cancer in adults. The prognosis of GBM is quite dismal, with general life expectancy at around five months up to a maximum of two years, while the survival rate after five years is a mere 4 percent.
After a 36-day trial with the helmet, researchers found that the trial shrank the tumor by 31 percent, a feat in medical history. The process consisted of wearing the prototype helmet a few hours a day.
The patient, who formally consented to his participation in this study, has already undergone surgery for tumor excision two years prior, and has also proceeded with both radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as per medical protocol. A year after his surgery, he came back with a tumor recurrence with notable growth.
The results of the trial implied that the tumor’s growth trend was immediately intercepted on the first week of the trial, with MRI results showing a sharp 10 percent drop in its trend.
Houston Methodist Neurosurgeon David Baskin, along with his colleagues Martyn Sharpe, Lisa Nguyen, and Santosh Hekelar, have recently published their findings on peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Oncology, where they thoroughly discuss their method and outcome, along with other key details to their research.
Significant studies on electromagnetic fields (EMF) being used in cancer treatment have been done prior to this study, with a similar technology called Optune (which uses electrode strips and required patients to shave their heads in order to be used) emerging with an FDA-approval back in 2015 . These studies have provided promising outcomes, and with the advent of the Oncomagnetic Device, the future of oncology is looking even more hopeful.
“Imagine treating brain cancer without radiation therapy or chemotherapy,” says Baskin. “Our results in the laboratory and with this patient open a new world of non-invasive and nontoxic therapy for brain cancer, with many exciting possibilities for the future.” (RF/JuanManila)