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

Preparing for Optune

You may have already spoken to doctors and done your own research, but as you or your loved one prepares to start Optune, you might be wondering what more you should know. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get started.

A Device Support Specialist (DSS) will help you get started

When you're ready to start Optune, nCompass will arrange for in-person training. At that appointment, an nCompass DSS will teach you and your caregiver(s):

  • How to use Optune
  • How to prepare your head
  • How to properly place transducer arrays
  • How to incorporate Optune into your life and daily activities
Invite caregivers to your treatment education meeting

Many patients rely on family, friends, and/or outside caregivers to assist them on array change days. It’s a good idea to have anyone who will be helping you with array changes present at your treatment education meeting. That way, your caregivers will be able to meet your DSS and learn about the device and proper array placement.

It's important to keep your head shaved while using Optune

Transducer arrays need to be applied directly to your scalp to work properly. Hair growth prevents the arrays from making good contact with your scalp.

You can cover transducer arrays with breathable head coverings

If you'd like, you can wear a breathable head covering, like a cap, hat, head wrap, or loose-knit wig over the transducer arrays.

Your arrays will need to be changed regularly

Transducer arrays need to be changed at least 2 times per week (one set of arrays should not be worn for more than 4 days at a time). If you find that you sweat a lot or that your hair grows quickly, you may need to change them more often. Watch this tutorial to learn how transducer arrays are applied.

You can wear Optune day and night

Optune should be used for at least 75% of the time (18 hours per day) to get the best response from treatment. Treatment can be delivered while you sleep.

  • You can customize your Optune treatment plan by taking breaks during the day
  • Optune offers you the ability to bank hours. This means that you can take treatment breaks on one or more days, as long as you make up those hours on other days
Your time on treatment is important

Optune records how much time per day treatment is being delivered. A monthly usage report is provided to your doctors, so they can discuss your treatment goals with you.

You’ll want to protect Optune from getting wet

It’s important that you keep the device and arrays from getting wet. Your nCompass team will provide direction on how to protect the transducer arrays and device before bathing. On our FAQs page you can learn more about what to do if Optune gets wet.

Daily life with Optune

You may be able to use Optune while you go about your daily routine at work, for some travel, and at social functions. You will want to speak with your doctor about whether it is okay for you to continue working or to travel. Your nCompass team can work with you to provide additional batteries or other accommodations to use Optune at your office or while traveling. See how other patients have incorporated Optune into their lives here.

Traveling with Optune

To help prevent unnecessary stress and treatment disruption, nCompass is available to support you before and during your travel! In addition to the 24/7 technical support, we can provide helpful travel information.

Please contact nCompass well in advance of your travel dates so we can help you prepare for your trip with Optune. Depending on your specific plans, you may be eligible to borrow equipment.

Call us toll free, any time of day:
1-855-281-9301 (toll free)

Or email us:

  1. Optune Patient Information and Operation Manual. Novocure 2017.
  2. Optune [Instruction for Use]. Novocure 2016..

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.

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.