On May 24, 2019, for the first time in 15 years, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for mesothelioma.

One year later, the NovoTTF-100L System is accessible in 20 hospitals spanning 13 states. The therapy, which was rebranded in the past year to “Optune Lua”, achieved a successful year growing its imprint and helping people with pleural mesothelioma.

The NovoTTF-100L is a tumor treating fields device, which sends electrical currents into the body. These electrical waves can disrupt and kill cancer cells. In the first year since FDA approval, Novocure’s device has checked off quite a few accomplishments. Many more are still to come.

If you have pleural mesothelioma and want to learn more about the NovoTTF-100L System (Optune Lua), we can answer your questions. We also can connect you to a hospital that offers the treatment. Email our patient advocate and registered nurse, Jenna Campagna, at jenna@mesotheliomaguide.com to see if you’re a candidate for this therapy.

 

NovoTTF-100L Makes History

Novocure, the manufacturer and creator of the NovoTTF-100L System, spent years conceptualizing and researching the benefits of tumor treating fields. The company put its experimental treatment through the FDA’s rigorous clinical testing process.

Last May, that hard work paid off. The FDA approved the NovoTTF-100L System for “humanitarian use device” distinction. It could be used:

  • For “locally advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma,” as described in Novocure’s press release
  • Only in combination with chemotherapy
  • Only when surgery isn’t an option

The NovoTTF-100L device delivers low-intensity electrical currents into the disease location. Patients wear the therapy on their body for most of the day and night, and they hardly notice its effects.

For pleural mesothelioma, the therapy sends these fields into the pleura, which is the thin lining between your chest wall and lung cavity where pleural mesothelioma forms. Novocure researchers believe that mesothelioma cells are sensitive to these currents.

 

NovoTTF-100L Gets a New Name: Optune Lua

In March, the NovoTTF-100L System received a name change. It was rebranded “Optune Lua” to promote “the prospect of hope and optimized care,” according to Novocure chief commercial officer Pritesh Shah.

He said the name change is easy for patients to remember and can help them, along with caregivers and others, “ask for the treatment by name.”

Optune Lua has the hopeful survival data to go with its assuring name. The FDA approval last May came on the heels of the phase 2, STELLAR clinical trial.

The median overall survival for 80 participants using the NovoTTF-100L plus chemotherapy was 18.2 months. Around 62% survived for at least one year, and the disease control rate was 97%. Approximately 40% showed a partial response, meaning their cancer shrunk slightly in size.

 

Which Hospitals Offer the Treatment

In September 2019, West Cancer Clinic (Germantown, Tennessee) became the first hospital to offer the NovoTTF-100L device. It also became the first hospital to prescribe the therapy to a mesothelioma patient.

Since then, hospitals in each part of the United States have welcomed Optune Lua for pleural mesothelioma. The full list of the 30 medical institutions that offer Optune Lua is below:

  • Allegheny Health Network and Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center (Dallas, Texas)
  • Baylor St Luke’s Medical Center (Houston, Texas)
  • Beaumont Health System (Michigan) — Royal Oaks; Troy (Sterling Heights); Dearborn
  • Bothwell Regional Health Center (Sedalia, Missouri)
  • Cancer Center of Hawaii (Honolulu)
  • Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Ellis Fischel Cancer Center (Columbia, Missouri)
  • Epic Care Cyberknife (Walnut Creek, California)
  • Fitzgibbon Cancer Center (Marshall, Missouri)
  • Frye Regional Medical Center (Hickory, North Carolina)
  • George W. Rea Cancer Treatment (Kirksville, Missouri)
  • Goldschmidt Cancer Center (Jefferson City, Missouri)
  • Goshen Health (Goshen, Indiana)
  • James E. Cary Cancer Center (Hannibal, Missouri)
  • Lake Regional Cancer Center (Osage Beach, Missouri)
  • Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Illinois)
  • McFarland Clinic (Ames, Iowa)
  • Miami (Florida) Cancer Institute
  • Missouri Cancer Associates, LLC. (Columbia, Missouri)
  • Ochsner Medical Center (Louisiana) — New Orleans and Baton Rouge
  • Oregon Health and Science University (Portland)
  • Rochester Regional Health (New York)
  • University of Miami (Florida) Health System
  • West Cancer Clinic (Germantown, Tennessee)
  • William R. Bliss Cancer Center (Ames, Iowa)

If you’d like to look based on geography, the 16 states (cities in parenthesis) with hospitals offering Optune Lua are:

  • California (Walnut Creek)
  • Florida (Miami)
  • Hawaii (Honolulu)
  • Illinois (Maywood)
  • Indiana (Goshen)
  • Iowa (Ames)
  • Louisiana (New Orleans, Baton Rouge)
  • Michigan (Dearborn; Royal Oak; Sterling Heights)
  • Missouri (Sedalia; Columbia; Marshall; Kirksville; Jefferson City; Hannibal; Osage Beach)
  • New York (Rochester)
  • North Carolina (Hickory)
  • Ohio (Cleveland)
  • Oregon (Portland)
  • Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)
  • Tennessee (Germantown)
  • Texas (Houston; Dallas)

Want to learn more?

Try Our Free Guide to Fighting Mesothelioma

Get in depth knowledge about your diagnosis & the best treatments.

Learn More

Show Author

    Devin Golden

    About the Writer, Devin Golden

    Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.