Electrotherapy for the treatment of brain tumours

Branter, Joshua (2020) Electrotherapy for the treatment of brain tumours. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The scarcity of effective treatment options for high grade brain tumours has led to a wide ranging search for alternative means of therapy for these difficult to treat tumours. Electrical field therapy is one such area that has been considered. The OptuneTM system is an FDA approved novel anti-mitotic device that delivers continuous alternating electric fields to the patient for the treatment of primary and recurrent Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (TTFields). Alternative electric fields delivery systems are also being investigated for the treatment of various cancers. Here we present our explorative study into the feasibility of repurposing deep brain stimulating (DBS) electric fields for the treatment of brain tumours, as well as our investigations into the effects of TTFields on paediatric brain tumour cell lines.


A variety of high-grade adult and paediatric brain tumour cell lines were treated with DBS electric fields and TTFields. The effects of electric fields were assessed through a number of avenues including; viability, gene expression, cell cycle, and combinational effects with chemotherapies.


We observed that both DBS electric fields and TTFields affected our brain tumour cell lines with regards to viability, cell cycling, and gene expression. Both of the treatments may be optimised through manipulations of frequency and intensity and may be potentiated with the addition of a variety of chemotherapies.


We have demonstrated efficacy of repurposed DBS electric fields against high-grade brain tumours, as well as TTFields against paediatric high-grade brain tumours. We have also elucidated multiple mechanisms of action while providing avenues for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Smith, Stuart
Basu, Surajit
Keywords: Brain tumours; Glioblastoma multiforme; Electrical field therapy; Deep brain stimulating electric fields; TTFields
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WL Nervous system
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 59585
Depositing User: Branter, Joshua
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 10:25
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 10:25
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/59585

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