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A New Treatment to Fight Glioblastoma Now Available in Panama City

BY DANI TRAVIS – WJHG Reporter | Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:29 PM CDT

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) – Doctors say Glioblastoma is the most aggressive brain cancer a person can have. Now, a new medical device to fight it has made its way to Panama City. Once known as Hope Radiation Cancer Center, but now Hope Regional Cancer Center is now offering a different treatment for glioblastoma.

“In the past, we had the surgery, radiation and oral chemotherapy. But now we have Optune, which is the low-intensity electrical field treatment,” Radiation Oncologist Doctor Hasan Murshed said.

Doctor Murshed said Optune was approved by the FDA about two years ago. To find the tumor a patient goes into a radiation treatment room. After the patient receives radiation, he or she is given Optune. It is a device worn on a person’s shaved head for up to 22 hours a day. Clinical nurse manager Melissa Mixdorf said the low-intensity electric field locates the tumor inside the brain.

“Optune Therapy is going and destroying cells as well as making newer cells, so it’s creating a better survival rate for GBM patients,” said Mixdorf.

Without the Optune treatment, the survival rate for GBM patients is about five percent or less in five years.

“Adding Optune treatment to the other treatment options for GBM patients appears to be around 13 percent in five years which has really increased significantly,” said Doctor Murshed.

The treatments are given in monthly sessions for up to 24 months. Doctor Murshed said now patients seeking new technology for treatment no longer have to leave town. The Hope Regional Cancer Center doctors are certified to administer this new treatment.

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