The McCain & Biden Families' Battle With Glioblastoma
- Senator John McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, shared a tribute video at the Democratic National Convention discussing her late husband and Joe Biden’s unlikely friendship
- Senator McCain passed away from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, which is the same disease Beau Biden passed away from
- There haven’t been many advances in treating glioblastoma, but Optune has shown promise in targeting brain tumors which has prolonged the life expectancy in some patients
However, the family would eventually be bonded through more devastating means. Senator McCain passed away in 2018 after a long battle with glioblastoma an aggressive form of brain cancer which took Beau Biden’s life in 2015. There hasn’t been much progress in new treatment options tackling this disease over the years, but thanks to a relatively new invention, the opportunity to prolong your life offers a ray of hope.
Optune For Glioblastoma
The progress in glioblastoma has been slow, but Optune represents a promising advancement in tackling brain tumors. At the moment, the projected life expectancy of someone battling glioblastoma is two year, but some patients undergoing this treatment have seen the median survival rate extend.
Optune, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015, works by disrupting the division of cancer cells in tumors and delaying the progression of the cancer in some patients. Treatment such as Optune are often referred to as tumor-treating fields. This, in combination with standard treatment, may add two years to the median survival rate for glioblastoma in about half of patients who use it, and five years of additional life for about a third of patients.
“There’s been the very exciting development of tumor treating fields, which are electrical fields that have been applied to the brain,” Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, a neurologist at Tufts Medical Center, tells SurvivorNet. “They’re basically these adhesive pads, front and back, right and left. They’re connected to a device that now weighs about 2 and 1/2 pounds. It generates this alternating electric current that has been shown in a major randomized controlled trial to add on another 50% of survival at two years.”