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Brain cancer helmet

Brain cancer helmet

Health Canada has just approved a helmet equipped with electric fields, a complement to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, to fight brain tumors.

A patient here actually benefited several years ago, following a clinical trial in the United States.

Modriberol has already undergone two surgeries to remove the tumor, a grade IV astrocytoma.

It was his oncologist who suggested the helmet to him in September.

“There is some heat at the electrodes. People often get amazed. They say to me, ‘Don’t you give fools?’ They think it gives electric shocks, but no, there are no electric shocks.

The helmet works through a system that generates electric fields that go directly to the patient’s head through 36 electrodes.

The electric field damages and kills cancer cells that were trying to multiply.

“The more you wear it, the greater the benefits. I was able to wear it 72% of the time in the last month,” says Ms. Riberol.

International studies show the effectiveness of the device, which was created in Israel in the early 2000s.

“It has been shown that we have double the chance of survival five years after diagnosis if we do electric field therapy,” explains Dr. David Roberge, a radiation oncologist at CHUM.

Eric Reynaud, who also suffers from brain cancer, has been wearing it for free and almost continuously since 2009, thanks to a clinical trial in Boston.

Patients are expected to wear it for two years, if there is no recurrence, which is not the case. He’s had five surgeries and numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments since his diagnosis 14 years ago, but he says this helmet is extending his life.

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“When I was diagnosed in 2009, I was told that the curve was basically expected to be 12 to 14 months. In my case, the tumor was huge, it was 9 centimeters long, so it’s been more than six months. It’s been 14 years.”

Many other Quebec patients can now benefit from this medical breakthrough. The device, which has been approved for a few years in the US, is very expensive, around $25,000 per month.