Treatment for glioblastoma (GBM)
Intended for US audiences only.
Optune® Novocure™

About recurrent glioblastoma

It can be frustrating to know that, even with treatment, glioblastoma (GBM) can come back. When GBM returns after initial treatment, it's known as "recurrent glioblastoma" or "recurrent GBM."

Why GBM may return

Surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy may have removed or destroyed most GBM cells. But, because of the location of the tumor and/or the "finger-like tentacles" of GBM tumor cells that may spread across the brain, it may be difficult to reach all GBM cells. Some cancerous cells may remain and continue to grow.

Treatments for recurrent GBM

If you or your loved one has had GBM return, there are other tools that can be used to treat it this time around. Your doctors may recommend a number of treatments, including:


Treatment options for recurrent glioblastoma patients include surgery, radiation, chemo, tumor treating fields, and anti-angiogenic treatment

  • Surgery—If the tumor is located in a spot that doctors can reach, additional surgery may be recommended to remove more of the tumor

  • Radiation—High-energy X-rays, gamma rays, or protons that are beamed at the head to kill tumor cells, may be recommended again

  • Chemotherapy—Additional chemotherapy drugs may be given to kill more of the tumor cells

  • Antiangiogenic therapy—A type of drug that helps to starve tumor cells by stopping the growth of the blood vessels that feed them

  • Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields)—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

If you or your loved one is experiencing recurrent GBM, this may be the first time hearing of Optune. Your doctor may have even given you the choice between Optune and another round of chemotherapy. You can learn more about the benefits and side effects of Optune here.




1. American Brain Tumor Association. Glioblastoma. http://www.abta.org/understanding-brain-tumors/types-of-tumors/glioblastoma.html. Accessed August 25, 2015.
2. Weller M, Cloughesy T, Perry JR, Wick W. Standards of care for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma—are we there yet? Neuro Oncol. 2013;15(1):4-27.
3. National Cancer Institute. What you need to know about brain tumors. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/brain.pdf. Published February 2009. Accessed August 25, 2015. NIH Publication No. 09 -1558.
4. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute. Angiogenesis inhibitors. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy/angiogenesis-inhibitors-fact-sheet. Published October 2011. Accessed February 17, 2016.
5. Optune Instructions For Use. Novocure 2016.

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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:

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.

Patient Journey videos on this site and all images labeled as Optune users or caregivers 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).