Cancer cells divide and multiply rapidly within the liver cancer tumor. These cancer cells carry different types of electrically charged elements that play a role during the cell division process. Other healthy cells in the abdominal region multiply at a much slower rate, if at all, and/or have other different properties such as a different size, compared to the cancer cells. Thus, normal cells rarely include the same electric properties as the dividing cancer cells and are not expected to be affected by TTFields.
TTFields Mechanism of Action
The NovoTTF-100L(P) device used in this trial delivers low intensity, alternating electric fields to the tumor site through the skin and other more superficial tissues. These fields are known as Tumor Treating Fields or TTFields. Preclinical studies showed that due to the shape and size of cancer cells when they are multiplying, TTFields cause electrically-charged cellular components of these cells to change their location within the dividing cell, disrupting their normal function and ultimately leading to cell death. In addition, cancer cells also contain miniature building blocks which act as tiny motors in moving essential parts of the cells from place to place. TTFields interfere with the normal orientation of these tiny motors since they are electrically-charged as well. As a result of these two effects, tumor cell division is slowed, resulting in cellular death or cell division reversal. This may lead to inhibition of tumor growth after continuous exposure to TTFields. TTFields may minimally affect the healthy tissue cells within the abdominal region since healthy tissue cells multiply at a much slower rate than cancer cells, if at all.
A summary of TTFields’ mechanism of action is illustrated in the following animation:
TTFIELDS ARE NOT APPROVED FOR THE TREATMENT OF HEPATOCELLULAR CANCER. THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF TTFIELDS FOR HEPATOCELLULAR CANCER HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED.
Past clinical experience
A number of systems have been developed to deliver TTFields to different tumors. The main differences between previously tested systems and the NovoTTF-100L(P) is the frequency and intensity of TTFields provided by each system. The frequency is adjusted by the manufacturer of the systems in order to optimize the treatment for each treated cancer, based on data from laboratory experiments.
The NovoTTF-100L, a system which is technically identical to the NovoTTF-100L(P) but used for a different indication, has a CE Mark in Europe for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, the most common form of lung cancer.
TTFields has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of recurrent and newly diagnosed glioblastoma, a type of aggressive primary brain cancer. The same system has a CE Mark in Europe for the treatment of glioblastoma (for more information about the approved indications for use, please consult with your doctor or refer to the product information sheet).
Based on the science behind TTFields and the clinical results to date, the NovoTTF-100L(P) System is not expected to have systemic side effects in patients suffering from liver cancer. In previous clinical studies performed with TTFields for other solid tumor cancers, a high percentage of patients have experienced local skin irritation beneath the transducer arrays, which was mild to moderate in severity in the vast majority of cases and did not require medical intervention. Please note that while the side effects reported in other clinical trials may be relevant to the use of the device for liver cancer, it is not necessarily specific to your condition. The NovoTTF-100L(P) is not expected to cause any serious systemic side effects. The information provided in this website is partial, and you should consult with your treating physician concerning the complete safety profile of TTFields, the potential risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial and any additional question.