Vol 26, No 6 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-12-10

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Computational simulations establish a novel transducer array placement arrangement that extends delivery of therapeutic TTFields to the infratentorium of patients with brainstem gliomas

Marigdalia K. Ramirez-Fort12, Ariel Naveh3, Shearwood McClelland III4, Casey K. Gilman12, Migdalia Fort1, Melissa Mendez15, Jaime Matta6, Ze’ev Bomzon3, Christopher S. Lange17
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2021;26(6):1045-1050.


Background and Purpose: Tumor treating fields (TTFields) are a non-invasive, efficacious treatment modality currently approved for supratentorial glioblastomas. Despite their ability to improve overall survival in supratentorial tumors, the current placement of arrays is limited to the supratentorial head, precluding its use in infratentorial tumors. Infratentorial malignancies are in need of new therapy modalities given their poor prognoses in both children and adults. The aim of this research is to determine whether rearrangement of TTFields may allow for management of infratentorial tumors.

Materials and methods: Delivery of TTFields using Novocure’s prototype Optune™ device human male head model was simulated based  on brain MRIs from patients with brainstem gliomas to develop a novel array layout designed to extend adequate infratentorial coverage.

Results: Array placement on the vertex, bilateral posterolateral occiput, and superior-posterior neck achieved intensities above 1.1 V/cm (average 1.7 V/cm; maximum 2.3 V/cm) in the vertical field direction and above 1 V/cm (average 2 V/cm; maximum 2.8 V/cm) in the horizontal field direction of the infratentorium. The calculated field intensity within the simulated tumors were in the therapeutic range and demonstrated the effective delivery of TTFields to the infratentorial brain.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that rearrangement of the TTFields standard array with placement of electrodes on the vertex, bilateral posterolateral occiput, and superior-posterior neck allows for adequate electric field distribution in the infratentorium that is within the therapeutic range.

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