Treatment for glioblastoma (GBM)
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Optune® Novocure™

Treatments for newly diagnosed glioblastoma

Finding out that you or a loved one has glioblastoma, or GBM, can be overwhelming. In the blink of an eye, you may feel that your life is turned upside down, and you have to make major treatment decisions. So, where do you start?

Things to consider when selecting treatments

Now is the time to speak to your doctor about the treatments available to you. Things to ask your doctor at this time include:

  • What are the treatment options in newly diagnosed GBM?

  • What are the expected results of these treatments?

  • What are the possible side effects?

  • Can this treatment be given close to home, or will I need to travel or relocate for a while?

  • What impact will treatment have on my ability to work or do normal activities?

Treatments for newly diagnosed GBM

By talking to your doctor and doing research on your own, you may learn that a diagnosis and treatment plan for newly diagnosed GBM can include:

Treatment options for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients include surgery, radiation, chemo, and tumor treating fields

  • Surgery may be conducted first to remove as much of the tumor as possible and/or to take a sample of the tumor to make a diagnosis of the tumor type. Sometimes, people need to be awake for surgery so that surgeons can ask questions that help them protect important parts of the brain

    • During this time, your doctor may also test the tumor for tumor markers. Tumor markers may indicate what treatments may work better for you

  • Radiation may be used after surgery. A big machine is used to aim beams of high-energy X-rays, gamma rays, or protons at your head in order to kill the tumor cells inside. This outpatient treatment is usually done over the course of several weeks at a hospital or clinic

  • Chemotherapy refers to drugs that are used to kill cancer cells. You might be given chemotherapy in the form of a pill, an IV in the outpatient part of a hospital, or in a dissolving wafer that a surgeon implants in your brain

  • Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), used together with the chemotherapy temozolomide (TMZ), are low-intensity electric fields that may slow or stop cancer cells from multiplying, and may cause them to die. TTFields are delivered through a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device called Optune

1. National Cancer Institute. What you need to know about brain tumors. Published February 2009. Accessed August 25, 2015. NIH Publication No. 09-1558.
2. Tumor Marker Tests. Published March 2013. Accessed August 25, 2015.
3. Optune Instructions For Use. Novocure 2016.

Learn how Tumor Treating Fields work

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Indications For Use

Optune is intended as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Optune with temozolomide is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed, supratentorial glioblastoma following maximal debulking surgery and completion of radiation therapy together with concomitant standard of care chemotherapy.

For the treatment of recurrent GBM, Optune is indicated following histologically-or radiologically-confirmed recurrence in the supratentorial region of the brain after receiving chemotherapy. The device is intended to be used as a monotherapy, and is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for GBM after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.

Important Safety Information


Do not use Optune if you have an active implanted medical device, a skull defect (such as, missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragments. Use of Optune together with implanted electronic devices has not been tested and may theoretically lead to malfunctioning of the implanted device. Use of Optune together with skull defects or bullet fragments has not been tested and may possibly lead to tissue damage or render Optune ineffective.

Do not use Optune if you are known to be sensitive to conductive hydrogels. In this case, skin contact with the gel used with Optune may commonly cause increased redness and itching, and rarely may even lead to severe allergic reactions such as shock and respiratory failure.

Warnings and Precautions

Use Optune only after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical personnel who have completed a training course given by Novocure (the device manufacturer).

Do not use Optune if you are pregnant, you think you might be pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. It is not known if Optune is safe or effective in these populations.

The most common (≥10%) adverse events involving Optune in combination with temozolomide were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, scalp irritation from device use, headache, convulsions, and depression.

The most common (≥10%) adverse events seen when using Optune alone were scalp irritation from device use and headache.

The following adverse reactions were considered related to Optune when using the device alone: scalp irritation from device use, headache, malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcer.

All servicing procedures must be performed by qualified and trained personnel.

Do not use any parts that do not come with the Optune Treatment Kit, or that were not sent to you by the device manufacturer or given to you by your doctor.

Do not wet the device or transducer arrays.

If you have an underlying serious skin condition on the scalp, discuss with your doctor whether this may prevent or temporarily interfere with Optune treatment.

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

Patient Journey videos on this site depict actual patients and caregivers. All other depictions of patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals are actor portrayals.

Indications For Use

Optune is intended as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).