After a patient has a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, some aggressive and fast-growing cancer cells still may be hiding in the brain. To slow or stop the growth of hidden cancer cells, the wearable device releases electrical energy. The electrical energy travels in alternating directions to the tumor and top of the brain. As a cancer cell starts to duplicate itself, the alternating electrical impulses disrupt the tiny fibers that normally divide the cell. Then the cancer cell can die. To help kill cancer cells, patients also take a chemotherapy drug, Temozolomide.
Patients wear the device for at least 18 hours or more each day. The electrodes in the device are attached to adhesive patches on the scalp, and the patient’s head must be shaved every two or three days. The device is attached to a three-pound battery pack carried over the shoulder, or plugged into an electrical outlet. To determine if the patient is cancer free, an MRI is regularly done under the discretion of the neuro-oncologist and current treatment schedule.
By using this personalized and precision approach, doctors at the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center are optimistic that they can help patients maintain their mental, emotional, and physical well-being longer than those who only use chemotherapy in their battle against glioblastoma.
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