CARO is the first and only cancer center in the state of Alabama to offer Optune Lua™, a wearable treatment for mesothelioma patients.
At Central Alabama Radiation Oncology, it’s the goal of our entire staff to provide the highest quality care to each of our patients and their family members. We want to ensure the residents of Alabama that they don’t have to travel out of state to receive the highest quality care and emerging technologies to treat their cancer. Our facilities in Montgomery and Prattville house the most advanced technologies in Alabama, and we are especially pleased to announce the newest addition to our repertoire of cancer treatment options.
The entire team at CARO is pleased to announce the availability of Optune Lua for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). CARO is now certified to prescribe this wearable and portable medical device — which is the first FDA-approved mesothelioma treatment in more than 15 years — and CARO is officially the first and only facility in the entire state of Alabama to offer the Optune Lua device as part of its treatment plan.
What is Optune Lua Cancer Treatment?
Optune Lua is a portable device that can be worn by mesothelioma patients and activated via virtual interaction. The device is designed to specifically target and directly disrupt dividing mesothelioma cells, inhibiting tumor growth and ultimately killing cancer cells using electric fields tuned to a specific frequency while also sparing healthy cells.
The Optune Lua device is classified as a Humanitarian Use Device that has been approved under the Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) which encourages companies to innovate in rare diseases with underserved patient populations. The FDA approved the device under the Premarket Approval pathway in 2011 for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma (cancer impacting the brain or spinal cord) and in 2015 for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM in combination with temozolimide (a chemotherapy treatment drug). Since 2011, more than 15,000 patients with GBM have been treated with the wearable device.
More About Optune Lua Treatment
Optune Lua delivers what are known as “Tumor Treating Fields”, also known as TTFields. These TTFileds are low-intensity, alternating electric fields which are tuned to specific
frequencies and specifically target and continuously disrupt cancer cell division. The targeted TTFields inhibit tumor growth with the goal of killing cancerous cells while at the same time protecting and maintaining healthy cells.
In a clinical study, 97% of patients who received Optune Lua treatment for MPM with at least one follow-up CT scan after had tumors that either shrank in overall size or stopped growing completely.
Who Can Benefit from Optune Lua?
Optune Lua is intended for adult patients (22 years of age and older) with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma. The device treatment should be used concurrently with pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy.
The device is also intended as a treatment for adult patients with histologically confirmed glioblastoma multiforme, and Optune with temozolomide is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed, supratentorial glioblastoma following maximal debulking surgery, and completion of radiation therapy together with concomitant standard of care chemotherapy.
The wearable treatment is not recommended for use in patients with implantable electronic medical devices like pacemakers or automatic defibrillators. It should also not be used as a treatment in patients with a skull defect (such as a missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragments.
How it Works
A patient, depending on their customized care plan, might receive continuous treatment with Optune to treat their GBM. With a doctor’s sign-off, many patients are free to use Optune while continuing their daily routine(s) at work, while traveling and even during social functions.
If you have newly diagnosed glioblastoma, Optune will likely be used together with chemotherapy (after surgery and radiation with chemotherapy). If you have recurrent glioblastoma, Optune will likely be used alone once treatment options like surgery and radiation have been exhausted.
What is Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a tumor of the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart and/or other organs.
Cancerous (malignant) mesothelioma is the most common form, usually affecting the lungs. Taking that one step further, malignant pleural mesothelioma, or MPM, is a rare form of the cancer that has been strongly linked to asbestos exposure. Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with MPM in the United States each year.
Treatment for malignant mesothelioma might include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy, along with supportive treatments that can relieve symptoms. But prior to the FDA approval of Optune Lua, pemetrexed plus cisplatin was the only FDA-approved therapy for patients with MPM that could not be surgically removed.
Central Alabama Radiation Oncology delivers treatment using the most sophisticated and modern technology of its kind in Alabama. State-of-the-art machinery combined with advanced computer technology and specialized software help ensure the best results for our patients and we are pleased to be able to now provide the citizens of our great state with the Optune Lua technology. For more information on this new treatment option, contact CARO today.