Houston-ALSHARQIYA July 28: Researchers from the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute succeeded in shrinking a deadly brain tumor "glioblastoma" by more than a third, using a helmet that generates an oscillating magnetic field, which the patient wore on his head while administering treatment at his home.
According to the study recently published in the journal "Frontier Oncology," the 53-year-old patient died of an injury unrelated to treatment, after he fell on his head after 5 weeks of treatment.
But during that short period, 31 percent of the tumor mass was gone, and an autopsy on his brain confirmed a rapid response to treatment.
Glioblastoma is the most deadly type of brain cancer in adults, and is often fatal, with a life expectancy of between a few months and two years.
The researchers documented the patient's infection with glioblastoma in May 2018, with the appearance of a large tumor in the left frontal lobe extending across the midline to the right frontal lobe. On June 4, 2018, the patient underwent surgery, in which the tumor was radically removed.
Subsequent to surgery, the patient underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but the results of the MRI in January 2020, showed the tumor had progressed, and according to the usual rates in this case, the patient was likely to survive from 3.5 to 3.9 months.
After the FDA approved "compassionate treatment" of a patient using the newly invented "electromagnetic helmet" device, the protocol was also approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
An oscillator caused by the rotation of a permanent magnet in a specific frequency profile and timing pattern.
The treatment was first administered for two hours under supervision in a medical clinic, then subsequent treatments were given at home with the help of the patient's wife, with the duration of treatment increasing to a maximum of only 6 hours per day.
The Oncomagnetic device appears deceptively simple, as it consists of 3 tumor oscillators tightly attached to a helmet, and connected to an electronic control unit based on a microprocessor, powered by a rechargeable battery.
During 5 weeks, the magnetic therapy was well tolerated, tumor mass and volume shrunk by about a third, and the shrinkage appeared to be dose-related.
"Thanks to the courage of this patient and his family, we were able to test and validate the potential efficacy of the world's first non-invasive treatment for glioblastoma," said the researchers from the Houston Methodist Institute's Department of Neurosurgery.
The scientists underlined the importance of the family's consent to the patient's autopsy, saying: "The family's generous consent to allow an autopsy after the patient's sudden death has made an invaluable contribution to the further study and development of this potentially effective treatment."
The new treatment opens promising prospects for treating tumors without surgical intervention, chemotherapy or radiation, which causes side effects that affect the health of patients.