Cancer cells divide and multiply rapidly within the mesothelioma lesions. These cancer cells carry special types of electrically charged elements that play a role during the cell division process. Other healthy cells in the upper torso multiply at a much slower rate, if at all, and thus rarely include the same electric properties as the dividing cancer cells.
TTFields Mechanism of Action
The NovoTTF-100L device used in this trial delivers very low intensity, alternating electric fields to the tumor site through the skin and other superficial tissues. These fields are known as Tumor Treating Fields or TTFields. Due to the unique shape of cancer cells when they are multiplying, TTFields have been shown to cause the building blocks of these cells to pile up in such a way that the cells physically break apart. In addition, cancer cells also contain miniature building blocks that move essential parts of the cells from place to place during division. TTFields have been shown to cause these building blocks to fall apart since they have a special type of electric charge. As a result of these two effects, preliminary study data indicate that cancer tumor growth is inhibited after continuous exposure to TTFields. Preclinical and clinical data also indicate that TTFields affect the healthy tissues within the upper torso much less than the cancer cells, probably since healthy cells within this anatomical region multiply at a much slower rate, if at all.
A summary of TTFields’ mechanism of action is illustrated in the following animation:
Allergic reaction to the adhesive or to the gel (28.8%)
Open sores ulceration or blisters underneath the transducer arrays (9.7%)
Local heat and tingling "electric" sensation beneath the transducer array (2.4%)
The information provided in this website is partial, and you should consult with your treating physician concerning the complete safety profile of TTFields.Please note that while the adverse event information from previous clinical trials may be relevant for the use of the device for mesothelioma, it is not specific to this condition. The safety profile of the device for mesothelioma has not been established and may be different.