Alternating electric tumor treating fields for treatment of glioblastoma: Rationale, preclinical, and clinical studies Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic


  • OBJECTIVE Treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) remains largely unsuccessful, even with aggressive combined treatment via surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Tumor treating fields (TTFs) are low-intensity, intermediate-frequency, alternating electric fields that have antiproliferative properties in vitro and in vivo. The authors provide an up-to-date review of the mechanism of action as well as preclinical and clinical data on TTFs. METHODS A systematic review of the literature was performed using the terms "tumor treating fields," "alternating electric fields," "glioblastoma," "Optune," "NovoTTF-100A," and "Novocure." RESULTS Preclinical and clinical data have demonstrated the potential efficacy of TTFs for treatment of GBM, leading to several pilot studies, clinical trials, and, in 2011, FDA approval for its use as salvage therapy for recurrent GBM and, in 2015, approval for newly diagnosed GBM. CONCLUSIONS Current evidence supports the use of TTFs as an efficacious, antimitotic treatment with minimal toxicity in patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM. Additional studies are needed to further optimize patient selection, determine cost-effectiveness, and assess the full impact on quality of life.

publication date

  • February 2018



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3171/2016.9.JNS16452

PubMed ID

  • 28298023

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 414

end page

  • 421


  • 128


  • 2