Ideas & Technologies

NovoCure’s Non-Invasive Cancer Treatment to Target Solid Tumors

Novocure is an oncology company working to develop a novel cancer treatment utilizing a proprietary therapy called Tumor Treating Fields, the use of electric fields tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt solid tumor cancer cell division. Novocure’s commercialized product is approved for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma. The device, Optune, is a portable, non-invasive medical device designed for continuous use throughout the day by the patient. The device has been shown in in vitro and in vivo studies to slow and reverse tumor growth by inhibiting mitosis, the process by which cells divide and replicate. The Optune device weighs about six pounds, and creates a low intensity, alternating electric field within the tumor that exerts physical forces on electrically charged cellular components, preventing the normal mitotic process and causing cancer cell death prior to division.

Novocure was founded in 2000 by Yoram Palti. Dr. Palti is professor emeritus of physiology and biophysics at the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, and sought to leverage his expertise in biophysics to develop a new way to treat solid tumor cancers that would destroy tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue and avoiding many of the life-altering side effects of existing cancer therapies. Novocure received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2015 to market and sell Optune for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed GBM in combination with temozolomide.

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