Treatment for glioblastoma (GBM)
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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. 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. Published February 2009. Accessed August 25, 2015. NIH Publication No. 09 -1558.
4. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute. Angiogenesis inhibitors. Published October 2011. Accessed February 17, 2016.
5. Optune Instructions For Use. Novocure 2016.

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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).