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FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/13/2012 11:44 AM

Gizmag.com today reports that the FDA has approved the treatment of brain tumors with electrical fields. Novocure is the company who invented this and is selling the equipment. It does not require hospitalization, and allows the patient to be treated while being fully active. Glioblastoma is targeted. It is a severe form of cancer of the brain, and the usual chemotherapeutic, and surgical treatments have severe side effects. This new electrical field therapy causes only minor skin irritation where the pads are placed. Some other forms of brain cancer may also be treated. "Benign" brain cancers can also cause severe brain damage due to causing pressure on normal brain tissue.

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#1

Re: FDA Approves The Treatment Of Tumors With Electrical Fields

02/13/2012 2:57 PM

Follow This Link to the USFDA Summary of the NovoTTF-100A System.

This is not an optional treatment, not a replacement of surgical and radiation options. As indicated in the summary, this device can be tried when, after conventional surgery and chemo-radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy, the condition of the patient worsens.

I see no sense editorializing further. If interested, please review the link and follow the links therein for more detailed information.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: FDA Approves The Treatment Of Tumors With Electrical Fields

02/13/2012 5:05 PM

It is just another tool in the armamentarium of the oncologist, just as deep brain stimulation is for the psychiatrist. Sometimes cancer patients refuse to have any, or more surgery or chemotherapy. Especially the elderly. This is an option for them, or those who might otherwise give up. This might be a good option for benign tumors that are still too small to be threatening to the brain also. Good answer. Good reference.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: FDA Approves The Treatment Of Tumors With Electrical Fields

02/13/2012 7:13 PM

As far as I'm concerned, the FDA needs to fast-track all cancer treatments that show promise, to all that have lost hope and are willing to be human guinea pigs. They have nothing to lose. Allowing the fear of reprisals or lawsuits to stand in the way of possible cures for the terminally ill, is unconscionable.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: FDA Approves The Treatment Of Tumors With Electrical Fields

02/13/2012 7:38 PM

Excellent point. From a libertarian point of view I agree. If the recommended therapies are unsuccessful, or unacceptable to the individual the physician should be willing to try to "sell" the best therapy. Often physicians do not have the best communications abilities however. Even very bright patients sometimes go off on tangents though, and miss out on the right therapy. I understand that Steve Jobs might still be alive if he had followed the recommended first line therapy. The NYT reported that he delayed surgery and chemotherapy against strong advice from several sources. Then again I lost my favorite cousin to pancreatic cancer, and she followed the recommendations.

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#20
In reply to #1

Re: FDA Approves The Treatment Of Tumors With Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 5:56 PM

I would respectfully place this addendum to your post for readers to consider.

The big 3 (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation) have a less than stellar record. There is still room for investigating other treatments. It is easy to cite these as the "best" treatment when there are no significant statistics for other treatments, simply because some which hold promise have not been allowed in the arena.

In advanced cases a combination of all 3 are typically used. I couldn't find any statistics for Radiation's or Surgery's effectiveness, individually. Since they are used in conjunction it can be difficult to isolate the effectiveness of a single therapy.

Chemotherapy has been studied more in this regard: 1,(Note Table 2; % column) 2,... and so on.

The ideal would be to have as many choices available as possible to anyone. It should be the choice of the patient and their family as to what treatment they would like to pursue. I would trust most people of intelligence to research for themselves. Until there are better statistics for the effectiveness of each of these "orthdox" treatments, it is hard to argue that they have impacted the survival rate. It has changed little in the last 50 years. And where it has, it can be argued that it is probably due to earlier detection rather than treatment protocols. (A thoughtful survey and website is here.) Prevention is still better than any cure.

I would argue that a combination of prevention and allowing for more "natural" methods as treatments would reduce the cancer rate, and therefore the death rate, substantially. (Compare lung cancer occurrence between smokers and non-smokers, for instance.) As a society we are in love with processed foods with little nutritive value. The average "western-lifestyle" body is operating at a suboptimal level. I think the current "epidemic" of diabetes in young people is a clear indicator. Our first line of defense against any disease is the body's immunological and homeostatic mechanisms.

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#5

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 1:35 AM

Yikes!

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#6

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 2:46 AM

If too much of electricity can kill or maim a person why can't the scientists develop a system of treating different illnesses by passing different voltage/current(a.c/d.c,Hz,Amplitude etc) through selected points of the body for a certain period of time?.

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#7
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Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 6:42 AM

There are lots of new treatments being developed....................many of them very promising.

The problem in the US, is that we've become so litigious as a society, that even if something has gained FDA approval, the doctors are scared to try it due to unfamiliarity and fear of a lawsuit. So rather than attempting to break new ground, they use the same methods that have been used for 30-40 years. Patients die, but it's safe for the doctors.

One would think that a terminally ill patient could simply sign a waiver and receive experimental treatment without the doctors' fearing reprisal. Unfortunately, citizens of the US continue to sign away their freedom of choice when it comes to their own lives and bodies, so signed waivers mean nothing, non-standard procedures are shelved, and people die. It keeps the lawyers at bay though. Brilliant, huh?

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#18
In reply to #7

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 4:43 PM

Common sense and government are often at opposite ends of many medical issues.

For many years, the surgeons in Great Britain were prohibited from practicing surgical techniques on cadavers. As a result, Hand and wrist surgery lagged decades behind the rest of the world. These restrictions have since been loosened.

The development of new surgical procedures and the practising of established procedures has helped fuel the market for body parts worldwide. It is astounding how much your body parts are worth after you quit using them, (hundreds of thousands of dollars US).

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 8:15 AM

Collateral damages are always a problem. How can you pass current through the skin and the scull to kill a cancer growth without harming the healthy tissues?

This is the same problem faced by chemo and radiation therapies. You just hope that more cancer cell will be destroyed than healthy ones because of their rate of growth.

Is the tumor so much more electrically conductive that the current "concentrates" when passing through it? Are dividing cells more sensitive to electrical current?

I personally like the gold doped proteins that gather in the tumor. They then use induction heating to "fry it". Healthy tissues are not harmed (mush less anyway).

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 9:53 AM
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#12
In reply to #8

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 12:06 PM

This may be a hopeful sign. I doubt it, but it might be.

I won't vouch for any of the current attempts to copy Raymond Rife's technology, but the theory and the application which was done in an open, professional way, had a very positive track record. Unfortunately, the narrow-mindedness (and greed) of the orthodox medical profession and pharmaceutical companies, still suppresses the genuine, open, study of many promising therapies. There was an investigation back in the '50s confirming the accusations of those trying to have a fair trial of cancer cure protocols, that there were heavy-handed tactics used to discourage them. It does appear in the Congressional Record. It is depressing to think of the numbers of people who have died that might have been helped, if an honest and open investigation of every possible treatment had been pursued. There are many stories... many blind alleys... and certainly many scams... but quite a number of overlooked opportunities. The history is there for anyone to discover, if they wish.

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#14
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Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 1:22 PM

Thanks very much for the site. I will explore it thoroughly. I first became interested in this area about forty years ago. I was exploring in the library and came across the works of Georges Lahkovsky and his multiwave oscillator. I have always been fascinated by the ancient and modern alternative healing modalities. Lacking the electrical and mathematical background is a real problem for me, but hopefully I can learn enough to better grasp the various bio-electrical theories and their ramifications. Wikipedia has a nice article about Lahkovsky and some valuable references. His book can be downloaded for free as a PDF file from one link. It is called Radiations and Waves Sources of our Life. Wilhelm Reich also had some fascinating theories. He ended up in jail and died there. His books were burned. The FBI ,reportedly, confiscated NikolaTesla's papers. I recommend tennantinstitute.com, heartmath.com, and www.ial.org.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 2:07 PM

If you find interest in Lahkovsky and others, you will also find the book, "The Secret Life of Plants," interesting. Seeds (PI) for further investigations. There are many, many books to explore regarding "vibrational" healing theories and methodologies. Some not so good, some better. Another controversial field is Radionics. And Biological Transmutation.

I find it a bit humorous that our society has embraced all the science fictions movies and books and will pay good bucks to entertain themselves with fantasy, vicariously being Han Solo, or mimicking Yoda, yet, seemingly, unable to, at least, indulge these types of ideas in the same way. Dreams are the stuff of future reality. Just reference Leonardo da Vinci, Jules Verne, Arthur Clark... and other visionaries. Just like Perpetual Motion, so many dreams are impossible, yet the striving for them can often lead to better technologies. If we've come to the conclusion that we really don't understand almost 95% of the universe with current theories, then there's still room for dreams and their investigation.

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#19
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Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 4:48 PM

Thanks, I will check out any links you can give me. I have been retired a year, and want to focus on sifting out practical modalities that can actually help others safely, and without much expense.

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 3:51 PM

Thanks for the reference to Royal Raymond Rife's cancer killing technology. The record shows that he cured 14 out of 14 breast cancers in 1935 under a government sponsored research trial. But the success caused him his career and ruined his life.

His RF method used an antenna to penetrate the body to get to the tumour. Since RF does not penetrate water very well, it might not work on the brain. ASU has been working on laser versions of this technology (the trick was to set the right frequency of the RF to burst the capsin of the tumour).

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 4:22 PM

You are welcome.

You are right about brain tumors being harder to reach with this technology. There are other promising protocols worth pursuing. I do understand, though, that there is no cure for death. We are all on Death Row.

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#9

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 9:44 AM

Novocure did not invent this.

Dr. Nordenstrom who discovered this technique was destroyed by the medical industry for pursuing this. They prevented his cure from reaching the public when his discoveries first came to light. Primarily because he would not allow others to gain profit from it.

After they totally destroyed him, companies like Novocure and other doctors took advantage of his discoveries and started making money on it by releasing it to the public.

Electrical field therapy is not new. It was discovered by this bold Nobel prize winner and instead of giving him credit and saving lives, AMA destroyed him. They could not discredit him entirely because of his incredible background.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKXH_4PNPcQ

Now that AMA can make big bucks, they are releasing this very old technology. This technology is not NEW at all.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 10:56 AM

I was tempted to venture into the long history of scientists who have sought cures with magnetism, long wave therapy etc., but I am not as well versed in it as you are. Thanks for your comment. I plan on studying a lot more in this area. Scientific prejudice and politics is a huge problem, as evidenced in the global warming debate, and some on this site. Thanks for your information, and comment. Any references would be appreciated.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 12:11 PM

For starters, see post #12.

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#21

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/14/2012 7:40 PM

I'm extremely skeptical of Rife's work. He used low power signals that were relatively low frequencies. All of his field generators, antennas or other emitters were not focused. He was simply trying to shotgun the approach. At those power levels, and those frequencies, there's very little likelihood that the em fields had any effect on cells.

The majority of Rife's claims also state that certain frequencies kill certain bacteria. He never explained the difference, nor did he show how he kept from 'killing' normal tissue & cells.

In the 1930's RF was a new field of study. People had all kinds of claims about electricity and em fields. Rife thought he had something. It was proven wrong.

As far as NovoCure, from the FDA notice, it looks as if they are attempting to target specific cells by shaping the field or the current path (my guess). This is a whole lot more than Rife ever did. Even still, I'd like to learn more about their test results.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#24
In reply to #21

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/16/2012 7:20 PM

Skepticism is always healthy. But results that were witnessed and overseen by distinguished doctors of the time can't be so easily dismissed. Sure, science and instrumentation have advanced, and there might be better experimental design, but it is hard to attribute such results (discussed in the excerpt below) to the placebo effect or "luck," which is what is implied by "shotgun approach." Rife claimed he was able to "test" the frequencies by observing the living organisms with his "light stain" microscopes and see the actual effects of the frequencies. I'm not saying there is unequivocal proof. But since his work was interrupted when most of his equipment was either confiscated or destroyed, we may never know the whole story.

"In the summer of 1934,16 terminally ill people with cancer and other diseases were brought to the Scripps 'ranch'. There, as Rife and the doctors worked on human beings for the first time, they learned much. In 1953 when Rife copyrighted his book, he made the real report of what happened in 1934. He wrote:

"With the frequency instrument treatment, no tissue is destroyed, no pain is felt, no noise is audible, and no sensation is noticed. A tube lights up and 3 minutes later the treatment is completed. The virus or bacteria is destroyed and the body then recovers itself naturally from the toxic effect of the virus or bacteria. Several diseases may be treated simultaneously.

"The first clinical work on cancer was completed under the supervision of Milbank Johnson, MD, which was set up under a Special Medial Research Committee of the University of Southern California. 16 cases were treated at the clinic for many types of malignancy. After 3 months, 14 of these so called hopeless cases were signed off as clinically cured by the start of five medical doctors and Dr Alvin G. Foord, MD, pathologist for the group. The treatments consisted of 3 minutes duration using the frequency instrument which was set on the mortal oscillatory rate for "BX" or cancer (at 3-day intervals). It was found that the elapsed time between treatments attains better results than the cases treated daily. This gives the lymphatic system an opportunity to absorb and cast off the toxic condition which is produced by the devitalised dead particles of the "BX" virus. No rise of body temperature was perceptible in any of these cases above normal during or after the frequency instrument treatment. No special diets were used in any of this clinical work, but we sincerely believe that a proper diet compiled for the individual would be of benefit" Date: December 1,1953.

Other members of the clinic were Whalen Morrison, Chief Surgeon of the Santa Fe Railway; George C. Dock, MD, internationally famous; George C Fischer, MD, Children's Hospital in New York; Arthur I. Kendall; Dr Zite, MD, Professor of Pathology at Chicago University, Rufus B. Von Klein Schmidt, President of the University of Southern California.

Dr Couche and Dr Carl Meyer, PhD, head of the Department of Bacteriological Research at the Hooper Foundation in San Francisco, were also present Dr Kopps of the Metabolic Clinic in La Jolla signed all 14 reports and knew of all the tests from his personal observation.

(The above was excerpted from the link in post #12, repeated here.)

In addition, the numerous newspaper articles at rife.org attest to his involvement with major organizations, like McGill University, John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Heidlberg University, and London University. One has to wonder if any "major" universities of today would even give him the time of day, much less a chance to test his claims and theories. Advanced or narrow-minded? To think that pressure and intimidation hasn't been used by various organizations, such as the AMA, as cited in the Fitzgerald Report, is naive and contrary to the facts as presented.

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#22

Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/16/2012 6:51 AM

After review of Novocure's new medical device approval, I have a couple of observations.

1. EM-therapy, either in field or wave form, is not new technology in medicine. Whether one applies electrical field fluctuations (either current/ voltage or the induced magnetic field) or wave or RF waves (induced thermal energy), it produces a multitude of effects on living tissues. These effects effects may be beneficial or hazardous to tissues (i.e cell phones and brain tumors).

2. Novocure chose a cancer that is one of two cancers with the poorest prognosis (median survival for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme is about one year regardless of any and all treatment protocols) the other being pancreatic cancer. This being said the FDA's acclerated approval protocol for new devices that has some "good" science is adequate but could be tweaked.

3. Finally, I suspect nano-technology and gene therapy is the best hope for new cancer treatment options and a search for a "cure" of uncontrolled cell growth.

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#23
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Re: FDA Approves the Treatment of Tumors with Electrical Fields

02/16/2012 12:50 PM

See arthurleej.com/violet.pdf for a free PDF that may be of interest. It gives an interesting history of man's interest in electricity in healing. Before the "discovery" of electricity in Western Civilization there were many treatments that are still being used and researched today.

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