Novocure (NSDQ:NVCR) touted health-related quality of life analyses from a pivotal Phase III trial combining its Optune device with standard temozolomide chemotherapy for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
The data showed that adding Optune to temozolomide did not negatively impact health-related quality of life, except for itchy skin which the company attributed to skin irritation beneath Optune’s transducer arrays. The combination therapy improved deterioration-free survival of several predefined health-related quality of life scales compared to chemo alone, Novocure reported.
Novocure’s Optune mobile device delivers “tumor treating fields” – low-intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields – to inhibit cancer cell replication.
“Some physicians and patients have expressed concerns regarding the possible negative impact of Optune on patient quality of life” chief science officer & head of R&D Dr. Eilon Kirson said in prepared remarks. “The health-related quality of life analyses presented this weekend show conclusively that not only was quality of life not harmed by the use of Optune with temozolomide but deterioration in quality of life was delayed compared to temozolomide alone in several health related quality of life scales, most likely due to the longer progression free and overall survival of patients treated with Optune with temozolomide.”
Patients completed 2 quality of life questionnaires at the start of the trial and again every 3 months. More patients treated with the combination therapy reported stable or improved scores for global health status, pain, physical functioning and leg weakness compared to temozolomide alone.
The time until quality of life lessened by more than 10 points was longer for patients treated with both Optune and temozolomide.
“This data further cements our belief that Optune plus temozolomide should be offered as an essential combination therapy to every newly diagnosed patient with glioblastoma,” CEO Asaf Danziger added. “We are pleased to offer a treatment that may not only provide a survival benefit in terms of duration of life but also has the potential to provide stability or improvement in the quality of life during that time compared to the use of temozolomide alone.”
NVCR shares were trading at $12.12 apiece in mid-afternoon activity today, up 2.8%.