Sunday, May 27 2018 | Updated at 09:55 AM EDT

Stay Connected With Us F T R

Apr 04, 2017 09:47 AM EDT

Northwestern University scientists were able to create a device that uses electric fields to treat cancer. The new tool improved survival for the first time in over a decade for patients with deadly brain tumors.

The results came after the scientists conducted a large study. There are several doctors who are skeptical of the therapy, which is called tumor treating fields. It is not a cure and is very expensive since it is priced at $21,000 a month.

MedicalXpress reported that more than twice as many patients were able to survive five years after going through the therapy along with the usual chemotherapy. This is compared to the patients who only got chemo, with just 5 percent survival rate while the former got 13 percent.

Dr. Roger Stupp, brain tumor expert from Northwestern University in Chicago, said that it's an unconventional way of treating cancer. Several doctors still do not understand the method or think that it can help.

Dr. Stupp led the company-sponsored study while being at University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. The results were announced at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Washington on Sunday.

The device is named Optune and developed by Novocure. It is available in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and Japan for adults who suffer with an aggressive cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. It is used with chemo after surgery and radiation to keep the tumors from recurring.

Patients are required to cover their shaved scalp with strips of electrodes connected by wires to a small generator inside a bag. Afterwards, they are able to go about their usual routine.

According to CBS Chicago, patients need to use the device for at least 18 hours a day. They only feel mild heat, though, not electric current or radiation.

It is said to work by creating low intensity, alternating electric fields that disrupt cell division. This confuses the way that the chromosomes line up, resulting to the death of the cancer cells.

See Now: Facebook will use AI to detect users with suicidal thoughts and prevent suicide

Follows Northwestern University, device, electricity, cancer, Electric Currents, heat, science, research
© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Must Read

Research Reveals Boys' Interest In STEM Careers Declining; Girls' Interest Unchanged

May 24, 2018 AM EDTYear two of Junior Achievement & EY survey of 13-17-year olds shows how teens' career ambitions, educational priorities and economic outlook have ...

International Cyber Attack Strikes Again: Ransomware Hits Companies Worldwide [VIDEO]

Jun 28, 2017 AM EDTOver 2,000 computers in about a dozen countries were affected.

The Magic of Celebrity Involvement: How Projects and Concepts Get Public Nod When Icons Get Involved [VIDEO]

Jun 28, 2017 AM EDTDo celebrities really affect marketing?

Student Loans In Focus: How Much Do Students Really Borrow To Attend The Top 10 Schools [VIDEO]

Jun 26, 2017 AM EDTFor most students, going into the Top 10 schools is a dream come true. But is the expense in studying in these schools worth it?