A qualitative evaluation of factors influencing Tumor Treating fields (TTFields) therapy decision making among brain tumor patients and physicians

Priya Kumthekar, Madison Lyleroehr, Leilani Lacson, Rimas V. Lukas, Karan Dixit, Roger Stupp, Timothy Joseph Kruser, Jeffrey J Raizer, Alexander Hou, Sean Sachdev, Margaret Schwartz, Jessica Bajas PA, Ray Lezon, Karyn Schmidt, Christina Amidei, Karen Ann Kaiser Tegel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) Therapy is an FDA-approved therapy in the first line and recurrent setting for glioblastoma. Despite Phase 3 evidence showing improved survival with TTFields, it is not uniformly utilized. We aimed to examine patient and clinician views of TTFields and factors shaping utilization of TTFields through a unique research partnership with medical neuro oncology and medical social sciences. Methods: Adult glioblastoma patients who were offered TTFields at a tertiary care academic hospital were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview about their decision to use or not use TTFields. Clinicians who prescribe TTFields were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview about TTFields. Results: Interviews were completed with 40 patients with a mean age of 53 years; 92.5% were white and 60% were male. Participants who decided against TTFields stated that head shaving, appearing sick, and inconvenience of wearing/carrying the device most influenced their decision. The most influential factors for use of TTFields were the efficacy of the device and their clinician’s opinion. Clinicians (N = 9) stated that TTFields was a good option for glioblastoma patients, but some noted that their patients should consider the burdens and benefits of TTFields as it may not be the desired choice for all patients. Conclusions: This is the first study to examine patient decision making for TTFields. Findings suggest that clinician support and efficacy data are among the key decision-making factors. Properly understanding the path to patients’ decision making is crucial in optimizing the use of TTFields and other therapeutic decisions for glioblastoma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number527
JournalBMC cancer
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Decision-making
  • Glioblastoma
  • Tumor treating fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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