With Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) the most common and aggressive primary brain tumour across the world, accounting for 60% of brain tumours in adult and an average survival rate of just 15 months, bringing advanced brain cancer treatment to Singapore can make a significant difference in the quality of life and prognosis for local patients with GBM.
Standard treatment for primary GBM involves surgery followed by concurrent radiation therapy and chemotherapy, however prognosis remains poor given the location and resistant nature of the disease to conventional therapy.
Icon Medical Oncologist Dr Daniel Chan says evolving treatments for GBM are important alongside conventional therapies to potentially prolong the disease and provide a better quality of life.
“We’re now seeing treatments that are used in conjunction with other therapies begin to benefit GBM patients. One such therapy is Optune, which we are very proud to now introduce at Icon Cancer Centre Singapore as a treatment option. Optune is a wearable, portable device that in a recent large clinical study by Dr Stupp R was found to improve the two-year survival rate of GBM with standard treatment to 43% (from 31%), and significantly double the rate of five year overall survival from 5% to 13%,” Dr Chan said.
Optune uses low-intensity alternating electrical fields (called tumour treating fields, or TTFields) which target tumour cells and disrupt the cancer cells ability to divide and multiply, while keeping normal brain cells healthy. Optune has been approved by the FDA for recurrent GBM patients as a monotherapy since 2011 and was approved as a treatment for newly diagnosed GBM in combination with chemotherapy in 2015. In addition, for people with recurrent GBM, Optune is a possible treatment option when other standard treatments have been exhausted.