Kris Carlson

Just another weblog

Tumor-treating fields for glioblastoma and lung cancer

I have recently lost a friend, Dave Waltz, to glioblastoma, and a few years ago lost a friend of our family, Colby Hewitt, to the same cancer. Tumor-treating fields (TTF) have brought to fruition the ingenious idea of Dr. Yoram Palti to use alternating electric fields to disrupt the delicate orchestration of mitotic spindle formation during cell divisions. So the fast-growing cells in the brain, i.e. the cancer cells, are the ones affected, and since most other cells in the brain either do not reproduce or do so slowly, normal brain function is not disrupted in the period of treatment time.

There are several types of ions involved in mitotic spindle formation, including the spindle, helper cells that form the spindle, and the chromosomes. TTF could affect one or more of these necessary participants.

According to the company, the disruption of cell division leads to apoptotis (programmed cell death) of the cancer cells–i.e. I gather other cell processes designed to be trigger apoptosis when abnormalities are detected are signaled by the inability of the cell to complete spindle formation.

Here is the overview from the company, Novocure, a key paper, and an excellent, lucid exposition of the physics underlying TTF.

Kirson et al-Alternating electric fields arrest cell proliferation in animal models and human brain tumors-PNAS-2007.pdf

Jones-Basic theory of dielectrophoresis and electrorotation-IEEE EngMedMag2003.pdf


May 28, 2012 Posted by | CNS Disorders, Disease and Disorder, Neuroscience | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abstract | Transgenic Mouse Model for the Formation of Hirano Bodies


Mice with Hirano bodies appear healthy and fertile, but exhibited some alterations in both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, including paired-pulse depression rather than facilitation, and decreased magnitude of early LTP.


Hirano bodies are not lethal and appear to have little or no effect on histology and tissue organization. Hirano bodies do modulate synaptic plasticity and exert clearly discernable effects on LTP and paired-pulse paradigms. This model system will allow us to investigate the impact of Hirano bodies in vivo, the pathways for formation and degradation of Hirano bodies, and whether Hirano bodies promote or modulate development of pathology and disease progression.

Abstract | Transgenic Mouse Model for the Formation of Hirano Bodies.

October 18, 2011 Posted by | Biogerontology, CNS Disorders, Disease and Disorder | Leave a comment

New clue to causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)




I am curious how many varieties of ALS there are.

BioMed Central | Full text | A comparison of in vitro properties of resting SOD1 transgenic microglia reveals evidence of reduced neuroprotective function.

October 18, 2011 Posted by | CNS Disorders, Disease and Disorder | Leave a comment

Rett syndrome – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rett syndrome – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. An autism disorder.

November 20, 2009 Posted by | CNS Disorders | Leave a comment


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