Tumor Treating Fields (TTF)
What is Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) therapy?
Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) therapy is a type of electromagnetic field therapy using low-intensity electrical fields to suppress cancer cell proliferation in the body.
This treatment dates back a long time. TTF is a treatment to generate electrical fields in the human body, leading to the suppression of local cancer cell proliferation. With this treatment, cancer cells can be destroyed, triggering apoptosis. This is the basic concept of TTF. Normal cells on intestinal mucosa can proliferate, but since cancer cells are smaller than normal cells, cancer cells don't destroy normal cells.
Effectiveness of the treatment
The effectiveness of TTF is considered to be similar to that of chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy has side effects which destroy normal cells as well. It is not recommended to be used for long term treatment because of drug resistance and accumulation of toxicity. TTF on the other hand is considered a safe treatment which doesn’t have any problems in terms of drug resistance and accumulation of toxicity . Also, it is possible to use TTF with other conventional treatments such as chemotherapy. We believe that there are synergistic effects using TTF with immunotherapy, especially GcMAF macrophage activating factor. We recommend GcMAF be used in combination with TTF for best results and to achieve complete systemic treatment.
Mechanisms of TTF
- It generates low-intensity electrical fields to consistently destroy cancer cells.
- Electrical fields do exist around the place where electric current flows.
- Electrical fields attract the substances that have electrical charge.
- It behaves in a similar way to gravity.
- It suppresses cancer cell proliferation.
At the cellular level 1
- The electrical fields are even in the undivided cells.
- Cell division is categorized into mitosis which is the nucleus division through the fast and highly complex process and cytokinesis which is the cytoplasm division into two.
- As the early stage in mitosis, the spindle starts to be formed by the polymerization of the microtubule.
- Under the existence of the electrical fields, the polymerization is impeded and that leads to the mitotic arrest because each microtubule is arranged along the electrical fields.
Metaphase: impedance of constructing microtubule => apoptosis
As an early stage in mitosis, the spindle starts to be formed by the polymerization of high polarity microtubule.
The electrical fields are even in the undivided cells.
Under the existence of the electrical fields, the polymerization is impeded and that leads to the mitotic arrest because each microtubule is arranged along the electrical fields.
At the cellular level 2
- In the cells where the spindle formation has completed, the cell starts to divide into two.
- While the division is occurring, because the form of the cell becomes a sandglass-type, the electric field distribution becomes uneven.
- As a result, cell components get pushed into the constricted part, and the cell gets destroyed.
Telophase: Move into the constricted parts of macromolecules and organelles => cell destruction
In the cells where the spindle formation has completed, the cell starts to divide into two.
While the division is occurring, because the form of the cell becomes a sandglass-type, the electric field distribution becomes uneven.
As a result, cell components get pushed into the constricted part, and the cell gets destroyed.
The examples of impedance of constructing microtubule and Apoptosis
The impedance of constructing microtubule after forming the abnormal spindle
The pictures of abnormal mitosis of the cells where electric field was processed
Microtubule (green), actin (red), DNA (blue)
Kirson et al., Cancer Research, May 2004
Annexin staining (red), detecting the alteration of cell membrane caused by apoptosis
Video introducing TTF
This video presented in 2011 on TED introduces the mechanisms of TTF with curative examples.
Watch the video on:
Treatment applications of TTF
Although this treatment is mainly used for the patients with malignant glioblastoma, lung cancer and breast cancer, it is also considered to treat almost all of the solid cancers such as brain tumors, metastatic lung cancer, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, laryngeal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, metastatic liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and sarcoma.
Common configuration patients wear a helmet mask and a vest or short pants. Configuration may vary depending on the type of cancer.
The vest and helmet worn for treatment is made to order to fit each patient. The electric fields are designed to be specific for each patient after accessing scans. This treatment is used daily in your home and the electric field is adjusted every 1-3 months after checking CT or MRI at our clinic.
Blanket (sleeping bag) type TTF device for use in combination with jacket and helmet devices.
The safety and side effects of TTF
This treatment does not affect normal cells so there are much less side effects reported compared to chemotherapy. No serious side effects have not been reported.