World's First Non-Invasive Treatment For Glioblastoma!

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

Researchers from the Department of Neurosurgery at the Houston Methodist Institute of Neurology have used the non-invasive oscillating magnetic field generated by the helmet to shrink fatal glioblastoma by more than one-third, which patients wear on their heads during treatment at home. The 53-year-old patient died of unrelated injuries about a month after starting treatment, but within this short period of time, 31% of the tumor mass disappeared. An autopsy of his brain confirmed a rapid response to treatment.


"Thanks to the courage of this patient and his family, we were able to test and verify the potential effectiveness of the world's first non-invasive treatment for glioblastoma," said David S. Baskin, MD, FACS, FAANS, corresponding author to the director of the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center of Houston Methodist Neurosurgery. "The family generously agreed to perform an autopsy after a loved one died prematurely, which made a valuable contribution to the research and development of this potentially powerful therapy."


Credit: Houston Methodist


In a case study published in Frontiers of Oncology, Baskin and his colleagues described in detail the journey of their pioneering patient who suffered from end-stage recurrent glioblastoma, despite undergoing radical surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, and experimental gene therapy. With a life expectancy of a few months to two years, glioblastoma is the deadliest brain cancer in adults, almost always fatal. When the patient's glioblastoma relapsed in August 2019, Baskin and his team, already working on the OMF treatment in mouse models, received FDA approval for compassionate use treatment of the patient with their newly invented Oncomagnetic Device under an Expanded Access Program (EAP). The agreement was also been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Houston Methodist Institute.


An invention by the co-author of this study Dr. Santosh Helekar, this helmet consists of 3 oncoscillators securely attached to it. The oncoscillators are connected to a controller box powered by a rechargeable battery. The treatment consisted of intermittent application of an oscillating magnetic field generated by rotating permanent magnets in a specific frequency profile and timing pattern. First administered for two hours under supervision in the Peak Clinic, ensuing treatments were given at home with help from the patient’s wife, with increasing treatment times up to a maximum of only six hours per day.“Imagine treating brain cancer without radiation therapy or chemotherapy,” said Baskin. “Our results in the laboratory and with this patient open a new world of non-invasive and nontoxic therapy for brain cancer, with many exciting possibilities for the future.”


The case study was co-authored by Santosh Helekar, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery, Dr. Martyn A. Sharpe, research professor, and Lisa Nguyen, a biomedical engineer. The case study is titled "Case Report: New Non-invasive, Non-Contact Magnetic Cancer Treatment for Terminal Recurrent Glioblastoma Teams." Ongoing research has been supported by the Houston Methodist Institute, Donna and Kenneth Peak, the Kenneth R. Peak Foundation, the John S. Dunn Foundation, the Taub Foundation, Pauline Stern The Wolfe Memorial's Blanche Green Translational Research Project Fund supports the Foundation, the Kelly Kicking Center Foundation, the Gary and Marlee Swarz Foundation, the Methodist Hospital Foundation, and the Veralan Foundation.

ReferencesCase Report: End-Stage Recurrent Glioblastoma Treated With a New Noninvasive Non-Contact Oncomagnetic Device” by David S. Baskin et al. Frontiers in Oncology

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