Simmons Cancer Institute Offers Innovative Treatment for Aggressive Brain Tumors

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Dr. Omar with a patient

Contact: Cindy Davidsmeyer (SCI) 217-545-7012
Karen Carlson (SIU School of Medicine) 217-545-3854

November 30, 2012


Simmons Cancer Institute Offers Innovative Treatment for Aggressive Brain Tumors


An innovative treatment for a type of highly aggressive brain tumors called glioblastoma is available at the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

The treatment, called Novo TTF, is used as a fourth therapy option in patients who have failed to respond to chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Dr. Ayman Omar, assistant professor of neurology and director of the neuro-oncology, is providing this therapy. “We are the only provider of this therapy between Chicago and St. Louis,” Omar said. He estimates between 500-1,000 patients could be treated with this therapy in the central and southern Illinois region.

Patients 22 years and older are eligible for the FDA-approved new treatment for glioblastoma. An estimated 10,000 patients are diagnosed with GBM each year in the United States. Five-year survival rates are less than 10 percent. 

The non-invasive treatment administers a painless, low-intensity electrical current using electrodes called transducer arrays, which are placed on a patient’s scalp. The therapy prevents tumor growth by stopping the tumor cells from dividing and replicating, resulting in cell death.

“We can create a treatment plan specifically designed for the patient’s tumor, using specific frequencies and intensities that precisely delivers the therapy to stop the cancer cells from dividing,” Omar said. 

Patients carry a portable device with them, allowing for outpatient treatment and continuous therapy with minimal interference in daily activities.  

Omar received certification to provide this therapy from Novocureā„¢, a private oncology company pioneering a novel therapy for solid tumors. 

Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.

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