[Damn Cool Dept.] Portable treatment for brain tumors

Cancer is an insidious disease that can affect all parts of our bodies but nowhere is cancer tumors more dangerous, and most often terminal, than when they occur in the brain. Currently treatment can range from risky neurosurgery to radical radiation and/or chemotherapy which has varying degrees of success.

On the edges of brain tumor treatment are things like lasers to try and burn away the tumors and robots used to perform the delicate operations needed to remove the tumors.

Now a team of researchers have come up with a new way to attack these brain tumors and allow the patient to be fully mobile while being treated. Called the NovoTTF-100A it is a set of insulated electrodes that pump low intensity electrical fields to the site of the newly diagnosed GBM (glioblastoma multiforme) tumors.

The electrical fields are known as Tumor Treatment Fields (TTF) and they play off of the charged elements of the cancer cells. This reaction has been shown to stunt the tumor’s growth and in some cases reverse the growth.

The treatment, which has shown comparable results to that of chemotherapy but without the side effects, has just been given FDA approval.

image courtesy of Engadget