Traditional cancer therapy choices for clinicians are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and immune therapy which are used either standalone therapies or in various combinations. Other physical modalities beyond ionizing radiation include photodynamic therapy and heating and the more recent approach referred to as Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields). TTFields are intermediate frequency, low-intensity, alternating electric fields that are applied to tumor regions and cells using noninvasive arrays. TTFields have revolutionized the treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) and unresectable and locally advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). TTFields are thought to kill tumor cells predominantly by disrupting mitosis; however it has been shown that TTFields increase efficacy of different classes of drugs, which directly target mitosis, replication stress and DNA damage pathways. Hence, a detailed understanding of TTFields’ mechanisms of action is needed to use this therapy effectively in the clinic. Recent findings implicate TTFields’ role in different important pathways such as DNA damage response and replication stress, ER stress, membrane permeability, autophagy, and immune response. This review focuses on potentially novel mechanisms of TTFields anti-tumor action and their implications in completed and ongoing clinical trials and pre-clinical studies. Moreover, the review discusses advantages and strategies using chemotherapy agents and radiation therapy in combination with TTFields for future clinical use.
- DNA damage
- novel combination therapy
- replications tress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging