I’m Wired with NovoTTF-100A
Yesterday I was fitted with the NovoTTF-100A device from the company NovoCure.
I was also Chicago Midway airport’s biggest security scare of the day! Actually the TSA agents were courteous and professional even though it was clear they were not familiar with the device. I did not mention that this technology was developed in Israel.
You may be able to see in the headshot that quarter-sized ceramic disks are hooked to wires and taped to my head. They do heat up a little bit but it’s not bad. Having had the arrays strapped to my head for about 24 hours, I just kind of feel like I want to take my hat off, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
The arrays remain strapped to my head all the time up until they need changing which could be every three to four days depending on factors like hair growth and sweat interfering with making a good connection.
Then we travel to Chicago every month to monitor progress via MRI.
This is a monotherapy (not intended to be used in conjunction with chemo). It is NOT a trial. It is FDA approved. After the standard of care Slash and Burn tactics (i.e., surgery and radiation), NovoTTF is intended as an alternative to the Poison (i.e., chemotherapy) phase.
TTF stands for Tumor Treating Fields. It’s just alternating electronic fields that are intended to disrupt rapid cell division exhibited by cancer cells.
So this treatment replaces chemotherapy. What are the side effects? The skin on my scalp may get irritated. That’s a lot better than nausea, lethargy and the other side effects associated with chemo. It’s a little bit of a pain to deal with lugging around these electronics and I do get a lot of stares. That’s clearly a small price to pay to stay alive.
Here are some informative videos for anyone interested.
I’m glad to be using this promising treatment especially since traditional chemo did not seem to be effective for me. That’s about all of the medical update for this post.
A Final thought — Meeting new people
In the airport, Tina and I sat in some seats next to electrical outlets, so I could get some treatment time in while waiting for our plane. None of the outlets on that wall worked. So I began to walk around looking for another outlet. A gentleman waved me over to use the outlet his phone was charging on. He asked about my strange head gear and in fact recognized it because his boss was none other than Bill Doyle — the venture capitalist who helped fund NovoCure in this venture. I knew the name Bill Doyle because of his video on ted.com about NovoTTF, which really got us excited about the product. See the video here:
It felt like fate guided me to meet this person. It was very encouraging because he said that Bill Doyle is very sharp and if he chose NovoCure to invest in, it’s because he’s confident that it’s going to be a success.