The Oncomagnetic Device shrunk the 53-year-old’s glioblastoma brain tumor by 31% during his month-long treatment. (Image Credit: Houston Methodist Neurological Institute)


This seemed almost unreal. After researching it since the announcement, it appears to be real!


Researchers at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute managed to treat a 53-year-old patient’s glioblastoma tumor through a wearable helmet that generates an oscillating magnetic field. Unfortunately, the patient passed away from an unrelated injury during his month-long treatment, but an autopsy revealed that the tumor shrunk by 31% in that short time.


“Thanks to the courage of this patient and his family, we were able to test and verify the potential effectiveness of the first noninvasive therapy for glioblastoma in the world,” said David S. Baskin, M.D., FACS, FAANS, corresponding author and director of the Kenneth R. Peak Center for Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment in the Department of Neurosurgery at Houston Methodist. “The family’s generous agreement to allow an autopsy after their loved ones’ untimely death made an invaluable contribution to the further study and development of this potentially powerful therapy.”


Adults suffering from glioblastoma, the deadliest brain cancer, have a life expectancy of a few months to two years. The team working on the OMF treatment with mouse models received FDA approval for compassionate treatment use in August 2019, when the patient’s glioblastoma recurred.


The Oncomagnetic Device contains three oncoscillators secured to a helmet and connected to a battery-powered microprocessor. The treatment involved an intermittent application of an oscillating magnetic field generated through the rotating oncoscillators in a specific frequency profile and timing pattern. The treatment was first administered for two hours, eventually increasing to six hours per day. Results revealed that magnetic therapy provided a positive response, shrinking the tumor mass and volume by nearly a third. 


The team also says that this treatment option could eventually treat brain cancer without radiation or chemotherapy. “Imagine treating brain cancer without radiation therapy or chemotherapy,” said Baskin. “Our results in the laboratory and with this patient open a new world of non-invasive and nontoxic therapy for brain cancer, with many exciting possibilities for the future.


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