How Gramps, his Grandkids and the Whole Family Adjusted to Life with Optune®

I’m the type of person that once my mind is made up, I do it no matter what difficulties I encounter. After my doctor advised me to research Optune, I listened, made my mind up, and was ready to jump in. While I was worried about if this would affect life with my family, they have only embraced the changes. My kids and grandkids bend over backwards for me, and we always create memorable moments such as the time my son accidentally shaved my eyebrow off while helping groom me during an array change. Although it would take a few adjustments to my daily routine to get there, Optune has become part of our everyday lives. I wouldn’t have these types of moments without it.
                   

First Experiences with Optune

When I first started using Optune, there were a few things to get acclimated with. I was surprised to see the sheer amount of equipment, supplies and training to come along with it, and it seemed like a ton to get used to until my Device Support Specialist (DSS) went through the process alongside me. I was amazed; it’s all top notch equipment.

The heat took a while to get used to when I first started using Optune because the alarms would keep going off. So, I used a summer bucket hat using mesh in the back instead of cloth to cover the back of my head. I also carried a cooling towel when it was too hot, so nothing was going to stop me from spending time outside!

Part of getting used to Optune was planning out my day ahead of time. If I knew my day was going to be physically intensive—work, playtime with family, or yardwork—I wear my backpack. If I know it will be a less
physically involved day, if it’s raining and I can’t spend time outdoors, I use a messenger satchel.

Anywhere I go, whether it’s running errands or simply doing yardwork in my front yard, I always take one extra battery just so I keep my usage percentage up. I always try and make sure my usage is above 90 percent, and I never want to be in the situation where I don’t have a spare!

After a long, active day, I sure do need my sleep, and, like everything else, there were changes to be made to my bedtime routine and sleeping with Optune. I started out hanging it from the steel frame on my bed, which made it easy to keep it from bothering me at night. Now, after some experience sleeping with it, I lay it on the bed next to me and haven’t run into any problems.

   

Learning alongside Caregivers

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My caregivers have a schedule to change the arrays three times per week, and in the process, they have learned as much about Optune as I have. They can easily make the array change in less than 15 minutes—which includes, as my caregivers call it, the “man grooming,” which is when they help me trim hair on a few areas of my head and neck. Yes, this is where the eyebrow incident stems from.

We’ve learned a few things about changing arrays over the years. If we see a tender spot appearing, we cut the “spot” out of the cloth on the new array so I can apply the cream my doctor advised me to use to speed the healing process. I also keep the array layout display on my phone in case a caregiver needs to refer to it.

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I’m extremely thankful for my supportive family, as they have adjusted to Optune as well as I have. My grandkids call Optune “my medicine.” The girls like to braid the array leads and all of them love to change the
batteries for me. When “Gramps” comes over to visit, they help me get everything set up and ready for our time together, time that I always cherish every minute of.
Topics: Daily Life with Optune
By Chuck, Optune Patient

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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:

What is Optune Lua approved to treat?

Optune Lua is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated for the treatment of adult patients, with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) to be used together with standard chemotherapy (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy).

Who should not use Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM?

Optune for GBM and Optune Lua for MPM are not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:

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

What should I know before using Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM?

Optune and Optune Lua 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 and Optune Lua.

What are the possible side effects of Optune for GBM and Optune Lua for MPM?

The most common side effects of Optune when used together with chemotherapy for GBM (temozolomide or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, seizure, and depression.

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

The most common side effects of Optune Lua when used together with chemotherapy for MPM (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy) were low red blood cell count, constipation, nausea, tiredness, chest pain, fatigue, skin irritation from device use, itchy skin, and cough.

Other potential adverse effects associated with the use of Optune Lua include: treatment related skin irritation, allergic reaction to the plaster or to the gel, electrode overheating leading to pain and/or local skin burns, infections at sites of electrode contact with the skin, local warmth and tingling sensation beneath the electrodes, muscle twitching, medical device site reaction and skin breakdown/skin ulcer.

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

Caution: Federal law restricts Optune Lua to sale by or on the order of a physician. Humanitarian Device. Authorized by Federal Law for use in the treatment of adult patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma concurrently with pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated.

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

Please click here to see the Optune Lua 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.