At the University of Maryland, patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a life-threatening type of brain tumor resistant to chemotherapy and radiation, have access to tumor-treating fields (TTF).

The treatment uses electric fields to stop cancer cell division in these tumors that cannot be surgically removed. Patients may need additional treatments to kill the remaining cancer cells.

Your TTF treatment at University of Maryland will be managed by radiation oncologists who work with a team that includes oncologists, neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, social workers and nutritionists.

How Tumor Treating Fields Work

During TTF treatment you will wear a device that fits over your scalp. A web of wires and electrodes generates an electric field that alternates positive and negative from 100,000 to 300,000 times a second.

Because cancer cells have certain cellular proteins that are also both positive and negative, TTF stops cancer cell reproduction which provides patients the chance to extend survival.

During treatment, you'll wear the TTF device for several consecutive hours every day, and return for check-ups at one-to-two-month intervals. Your care team will provide you with detailed instructions for using TTF.

TTF Does Minimal Damage to Healthy Tissue

The electric fields in TTF do not heat or stimulate cells or tissue. There is minimal damage to healthy cells. The most common side effect is mild to moderate skin irritation.

TTF Approved for Glioblastoma and Mesothelioma

Tumor treating fields are FDA-approved for adults with recurrent glioblastoma, one of the most difficult cancer types to treat, and mesothelioma.

TTF may also offer a new treatment for multiple solid tumor types, including ovarian, pancreatic, non–small-cell lung, and breast cancers, some of the most aggressive forms of cancer.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment at UM Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, call 410-328-6080. Or, contact one of our other four radiation oncology locations in Central and Eastern Maryland.