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TTFields Tied to Improved Survival in Glioblastoma Patients

No negative influence on health-related quality of life apart from more itchy skin, which was expected

FRIDAY, Feb. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with glioblastoma, the addition of tumor-treating fields (TTFields) to standard treatment with temozolomide is associated with improved survival without negative effects on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) other than itchy skin, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Oncology.

Martin J.B. Taphoorn, M.D., from the Haaglanden Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the correlation of TTFields therapy with progression-free survival and HRQoL among patients with glioblastoma. A total of 695 patients with glioblastoma were randomized after radiochemotherapy to TTFields and temozolomide or temozolomide alone in a 2-to-1 ratio. Temozolomide was given for five days each 28-day cycle. TTFields were delivered continuously via transducer arrays placed on the shaved scalp of patients.

The researchers found that there was no significant between-group difference in HRQoL except for more itchy skin with TTFields. Significantly longer deterioration-free survival was seen with TTFields for global health, physical and emotional functioning, pain, and leg weakness, likely related to improved progression-free survival. Reflecting the influence of treatment, time to deterioration did not differ significantly except for itchy skin (TTFields worse: 8.2 versus 14.4 months) and pain (TTFields improved: 13.4 versus 12.1 months). TTFields did not affect role, social, or physical functioning.

“The addition of TTFields to standard treatment with temozolomide for patients with glioblastoma results in improved survival without a negative influence on HRQoL except for more itchy skin, an expected consequence from the transducer arrays,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, including Novocure, which funded the study.

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