While science has yet to figure out a way to completely beat cancer once and for all, technology has indeed come a long way and a company by the name of Novocure has come up with a device called the Optune, which is an electric cap that when worn by patients with brain cancer has been found to help extend their lives.
What the Optune does is that it sends low-intensity electric fields into the wearer’s brain. According to the researchers, this is based on the theory that this electric fields can block cell division, which in turn is seens as an “anticancer” effect, indicating that the cancer won’t be able to spread as fast, which also helps extend the life of the patient.
According to Roger Stupp, MD, professor of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “Glioblastoma is the deadliest primary malignancy of the central nervous system for adults. The last time any form of treatment was shown to improve survival for patients with this disease was more than 10 years ago.”
Based on a study done by the researchers, it was found that a patient’s five-year survival rate increased from 5% to 13%, while median overall survival jumped from 16 months to 21 months. Unfortunately Optune does not come cheap at $700 a day, although it seems that most US insurance companies do cover the cost of the cap which has since been approved by the FDA.