Cancer

Could this cap help John McCain? Controversial gadget claims to kill ‘untreatable’ brain tumor cells

A mesh-like cap that zaps cancer cells in the brain is one of many unusual but highly promising treatments Senator John McCain might consider to tackle his recently diagnosed aggressive brain cancer.

The 80-year-old Arizona Senator was diagnosed with glioblastoma last week following a surgery to remove a blood clot from behind his left eye.

A medical device, known as Optune, has been said to prolong the lives of patients with glioblastoma, though cancer doctors have been slow to embrace it.

The device secured FDA approval in 2015, and was the first new treatment for glioblastomas since 2005. Despite getting the green light, there is some hesitance to use it from cancer patients.

A mesh-like cap that zaps cancer cells in the brain is one of a number of unusual treatments Senator John McCain might consider to tackle his recently diagnosed aggressive brain cancer
Optune (pictured) is made of electromagnetic strips and worn over a patient's shaved scalp for at least 18 hours a day while plugged into a portable battery pack and generator
Optune (pictured) is made of electromagnetic strips and worn over a patient’s shaved scalp for at least 18 hours a day while plugged into a portable battery pack and generator

Optune is worn as a cap over a patient’s shaved scalp for at least 18 hours a day while plugged into a portable battery pack and generator. Those power sources create a cancer-killing electric field.

Because of the way it is worn, and the fact that patients have to shave their scalp, some patients are reluctant to try it, according to Dr Sumul Raval, a neuro-oncologist at the New Jersey practice.

Additionally, some people are reluctant to carry around a two-and-a-half pound battery pack and generator all day every day.

‘But, once I tell them it might extend their life span and will be painless they are much more likely to try it,’ Dr Raval told Daily Mail Online.

Glioblastoma is a devastating and aggressive tumor that grows in the brain. Patients have a 10 percent chance of surviving five years after their diagnosis.

Sen John McCain was diagnosed with a malignant primary brain tumor after being hospitalized for a blood clot behind his eye
Sen John McCain was diagnosed with a malignant primary brain tumor after being hospitalized for a blood clot behind his eye
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive tumor that can form in the brain. Patients have a 10 percent chance of surviving five years
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive tumor that can form in the brain. Patients have a 10 percent chance of surviving five years

Doctors close to McCain claim that the…