Learn More About Novocure

February 8, 2024

Novocure was founded to provide patients with a new cancer treatment based on using alternating electric fields, when applied at specific frequencies, can disrupt cancer cell division and cause cancer cell death. This innovative treatment, Tumor Treating Fields, is a completely different approach to cancer therapy.

 What are TTFields?

TTFields are electric fields that exert physical forces to kill cancer cells via a variety of mechanisms.

  • Electric fields have different effects on the human body depending on their frequency, leading to diverse applications in healthcare such as microwave ablation, deep brain stimulation, and pacemakers.
  • Cancer cells contain polar cellular components that can be influenced by electric field introducing exciting possibilities for solid tumor treatment.
  • The unique frequency range of TTFields allows the electric fields to be generated through the cancer cell membrane, while a lower frequency would not, thus introducing the Optune Gio wearable device.

What is Optune Gio?

Optune Gio is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.

What is Optune Gio approved to treat?

 Newly diagnosed GBM

If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune Gio is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:

  • Your cancer is confirmed bby your healthcare professional AND
  • You have had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

Recurrent GBM

 If your tumor has come back, Optune Gio can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:

  • You have tried surgery and radiation, and they did not work or are no longer working AND
  • You have tried chemotherapy and your GBM has been confirmed by your healthcare professional.

Who should not use optune Gio?

Optune Gio is not for everyone.  Talk to your doctor if you have:

  • An implanted medical device (programmable shunt), skull defect (missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragment. Optune Gio has not been tested in people with implanted electronic devices, which may cause the devices not to work properly, and Optune Gio has not been tested in people with skull defects or bullet fragments, which may cause Optune Gio not to work properly. 
  • A known sensitivity to conductive hydrogels (the gel on the arrays placed on the scalp like the ones used on EKGS). When Optune Gio comes into contact with the skin, it may cause more redness and itching or may rarely cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. 


Do not use Optune Gio if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.  It is not known if Optune Gio is safe or effective during pregnancy.

What should I know before using Optune Gio?

Optune Gio should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure, the maker of Optune Gio. 

  • Do not use any parts that did not come with the Optune Gio Treatment Kit sent to you by Novocure or given to you by your doctor.
  • Do not get the device or transducer arrays wet.
  • If you have an underlying serious skin condition on the scalp, discuss with your doctor whether this may prevent or temporarily interfere with Optune Gio treatment.

What are the possible side effects of Optune Gio?

Most common side effects of Optune Gio when used together with chemotherapy (temozolomide, or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, scalp irritation from the device, headache, seizure, and depression.  The most common side effects when using Optune Gio alone were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headaches.  Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers.  Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions. 


Together, BFTC and Novocure are committed to supporting brain tumor patients throughout their entire journey.  They remain at the heart of why both organizations exist. The Brains for the Cure Patient Perspective Initiative is powered by a grant from Novocure. 

Brains for the Cure looks forward to this growing partnership with Novocure and continuing to serve caregivers and patients through their brain tumor journey.

Read experiences shared by patients who have worn the Optune Gio

Other Helpful links

–          https://www.tumortreatingfieldstherapy.com/

–          https://www.optunegio.com/

–          https://www.novocure.com/featured-stories/

–          https://www.novocure.com/patient-experience