May 24, 2019 — The FDA has approved the first new treatment in 15 years for an aggressive form of lung cancer.
The device, the NovoTTF-100L System made by Novocure, uses electric fields to stop solid tumors from mesothelioma from dividing.
The new device was approved under the Humanitarian Device Exemption, which was created to encourage innovation in rare diseases.
Mary Hesdorffer, a nurse practitioner and executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, says the approval is a new option. “Typically, mesothelioma patients who cannot have surgery receive palliative care to mitigate their symptoms,” she says in a statement. The new treatment gives patients “a treatment option that may improve survival.”
The FDA approved Optune, another Novocure device, for the treatment of a kind of brain cancer, glioblastoma, in 2011.