One Physician’s Experience

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George Ansstas, MD

George Ansstas, MD

In a separate interview, George Ansstas, MD, a medical neuro-oncologist at Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University, St. Louis, discussed his experience in treating patients with tumor-treating fields. He has treated about 35 patients with glioblastoma in the first-line setting and 20 with recurrent disease using this novel technology.

“The phase III study provides strong evidence in support of this therapy. The 5-month difference in survival in this large randomized trial is clinically relevant and statistically significant. I recommend this treatment to all comers who fit the study criteria: no evidence of disease progression, no electromagnetic device [eg, pacemaker], and no missing bone due to brain surgery. We do feel strongly about offering this therapy,” Dr. Ansstas stated.

The side-effect profile is relatively benign, with skin irritation as the main effect. Tumor-treating fields do not affect any organ system (other than skin), and no monitoring is necessary except checking for dermatitis.

“Some patients have concerns about shaving their head every 3 days, and compliance can be challenging, because you have to wear the device 18 hours a day every day. We try to help our patients deal with this by reinforcing the survival benefit,” he stated. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Ansstas is on the speakers bureau and advisory board for Novocure.

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