Treatment for glioblastoma (GBM)
Intended for US audiences only.

How Optune® works

You might be wondering how a device that creates wave-like electric fields can treat glioblastoma. Here's a look at the science behind Optune.

The video below describes how Optune creates Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) to slow or stop glioblastoma tumor cells from dividing, and may destroy them.

Learn how TTFields work

Get a quick overview of the video in this short slide show

Optune treats where the tumor is

  • Glioblastoma tumor cells divide quickly, creating more and more cells that form a mass, or tumor
Glioblastoma tumor cells divide quickly, creating more and more cells that form a mass, or tumor Glioblastoma tumor cells divide quickly, creating more and more cells that form a mass, or tumor

GBM tumor cell

GBM tumor cell
begins to divide.

More and more
tumor cells appear.

  • When Optune is turned on, it creates low-intensity, wave-like electric fields called TTFields. Using 4 adhesive patches called transducer arrays, TTFields are delivered to the location of a glioblastoma tumor
  • TTFields interfere with glioblastoma tumor cell division. This action slows or stops glioblastoma cells from dividing, and may destroy them
TTFields interfere with glioblatoma tumor cell division. This action slows or stops glioblastoma cells from dividing TTFields interfere with glioblatoma tumor cell division. This action slows or stops glioblastoma cells from dividingTTFields interfere with glioblatoma tumor cell division. This action slows or stops glioblastoma cells from dividing

Glioblastoma
tumor cell
begins to divide.

TTFields interfere with
the dividing tumor cell.

Tumor cell division
may slow down or stop.
Tumor cells may be destroyed.

What is Optune® approved to treat?

Optune is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.

Newly diagnosed GBM

If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:

Recurrent GBM

If your tumor has come back, Optune can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:

Who should not use Optune?

Optune is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:

Do not use Optune if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Optune is safe or effective during pregnancy.

What should I know before using Optune?

Optune should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure®, the maker of Optune.

What are the possible side effects of Optune?

Most common side effects of Optune when used together with chemotherapy (temozolomide, or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, scalp irritation from the device, headache, seizure, and depression.

The most common side effects when using Optune alone were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headache. Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions.


Please click here to see the Optune Instructions for Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device's indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

On this site, patient and healthcare professional videos as well as all images labeled as Optune users, caregivers, or healthcare professionals depict actual patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. All other depictions of patients and caregivers are actor portrayals. Patient images reflect the health status of the patients at the time each photo was taken.

What is Optune approved to treat?

Optune is indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.