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Radically different treatment


TJM

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I'm a stock market fanatic for a lot of reasons. I actually find CNBC and Bloomberg to be the least biased source of news!

Jim Cramer just had the CEO of a company that uses electrical fields to disrupt the replication of cancer cells. Normally I would blow that off, but in this case they were (or are getting) approval to stop the phase three trial because of the positive results. This is mid trial. So now the placebo group will get the real deal.

It has already been approved for brain tumors. Sounds really promising and the best part is the trial was for solid lung cancers. It really does look like something out of Star Trek.

Anybody else heard of this treatment? It's considered oncology even tho no drugs are involved. I did a quick google check...it sounds legit.

Anybody else heard of this?

Peace

Tom

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Sorry. I forgot to mention the company name. Novocure. Since it was on TV there is no link so I started there. Had company over tonight who just left so will do some research tonight.

Peace

Tom

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Yes, I looked it up...I just typed Novocure into Google and got the full explanation. It is an FDA approved therapy for some types of cancer (so far as I read glioblastoma and pleural effusion mesothelioma). I learned that it is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy but from what I gathered I didn't see anything in reference to NSCLC or SCLC. Now, that's not to state that therapies using their method may not be created in the future for lung cancer; they just haven't done so yet.

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They are proceeding to get treatment approval now because the data in the phase three trial on NSCLC was so promising. Looking for approval to give treatment to the placebo group because response was so promising. Found a ton of actual data for GBI but no data on lung cancer. That is a big deal. You dont see it happen often. Big enough the stock exploded today.

I had never heard of this approach, but the CEO said it should work on all solid tumors. 

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Thanks, Shella (and Tom for the original post). It SOUNDS like quackery from the 1800s, but the scientific rigor of testing seems to indicate it holds up. Most important, it doesn't seem to pose any serious risk to patients.

I did a bit more googling and what I can't find is anything to indicate how these electrical fields are administered. Is it a special machine (like a CT scan) or electrodes or what? Does it target just the specific tumors in its field? I guess that would be why it's used with other, systemic therapies like chemo or immunotherapy.

VERY interesting.

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For brain tumors you wear a helmet looking thing. For lung cancer it sounds like its something you wrap around your torso. They target the tumors as they divide and control it by frequency and strength. You do it at home.

I agree with your 1800s comment but, as we have learned, follow the science!

Peace

Tom

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I actually went right to the Novocure website and from there I watched several YouTube videos explaining the mechanism of how it works. Initialy I was with LexieCat in that it seems kind of like something hawked by salesman slick in the old west, but the premise is intriguing and they have garnered positive results with next to no side effects in rigorous FDA trials. 

In my opinion, that's the kind of thing that's needed in the fight against cancer. As patients we should expect that researchers need to think outside of the box for positive results in the battle without a possible side effect list that is longer than a person's arm. Just sayin...

 

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Wow.  This is super interesting.  Years ago there was one of those alternative medicine doctors who was saying something along the same lines, the FDA suspended her medical license & placed her name on the quack watch.   This looks very promising!  Thanks for sending along! 

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When I was talking today with my oncologist about possible clinical trials, I asked him about this treatment. What he said was that he wasn't, at this point, especially impressed. He explained that FDA approval for "devices" (which is the category that this falls under, since it isn't a drug) is much more focused on safety than on efficacy. IOW, he wasn't convinced yet that this device added much in terms of effectiveness--at least in lung cancer. He said it does seem to have effectiveness in brain tumors, but he didn't think the mesothelioma results were particularly impressive. Overall, he felt the company was hyping it more than was warranted at this point (hope that doesn't lose you any money, Tom). (JK--lol, I'm the opposite of EF Hutton. When I talk, NOBODY listens!) 

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Not worried Lexie. Hope your holding up.

Thanks for the feedback. Guessing oncologists like chemicals over devices! FWIW....stock was up again today

 

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Well, hopefully it will prove successful--we need every effective tool in the toolbox we can get!

Incidentally, he didn't say it was BS, just that he wasn't yet persuaded. He did find it interesting. I wasn't aware of (or had forgotten) the differences in the approval process between devices and drugs.

 

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It seems to me that if it has clinical benefits for glioblastoma, then there must be some possible derived benefit that can be obtained for lung cancer as well. These "electrical fields" exist in all living things as electrochemical processes to include cancers and the trick is interfering with the electrochemical force necessary for cancer cell division. The premise seems really simple and I see no reason why it wouldn't work. 

So, I am going to give this a possible thumbs up... That being said, I do believe that medical professionals are not very likely to engage in ready application of outside the lines treatments. I can only assume that they take their decisions concerning their patient's lives very seriously and they don't want to lose patients to something perhaps considered "unproven". Therefore, it takes a while before most anything in the treatment of cancer is going to be readily accepted. That is except for drugs; in this case the drugmaker also accepts the responsibility for the efficacy of its drug. 

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It seems to me one of the differences between brain tumors and thoracic cancers is the distance and quantity/type of tissue the fields would have to pass through to reach them. I'm neither a physicist nor a physician, so I'm just guessing. Still, every incremental discovery can be important. Many discoveries need to be tweaked before they reach their potential benefit. I'm glad they are doing the research, even if it's not quite ready for prime time.

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On 4/16/2021 at 3:01 AM, LexieCat said:

It seems to me one of the differences between brain tumors and thoracic cancers is the distance and quantity/type of tissue the fields would have to pass through to reach them. I'm neither a physicist nor a physician, so I'm just guessing. Still, every incremental discovery can be important. Many discoveries need to be tweaked before they reach their potential benefit. I'm glad they are doing the research, even if it's not quite ready for prime time.

The key to me was the findings of efficacy mid phase 3. The fact that it was successful enough for them to request the control group get the treatment is validation that it works on NSCLC and is a five star win!

Peace

Tom

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I just caught on to this thread. This seems to be very promising and hopefully pulls through. It would be great to have other options in the future!

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