Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the best-known methods for treating cancer. At TEDMED, Bill Doyle presents a new approach, called Tumor Treating Fields, which uses electric fields to interrupt cancer cell division. Still in its infancy — and approved for only certain types of cancer — the treatment comes with one big benefit: quality of life.
With his company Novocure, Bill Doyle works to bring breakthrough medical technologies to doctors and patients.
For a video of Bill’s talk at TEDMED, check out http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_doyle_treating_cancer_with_electric_fields.html
Spoiler alert! The electric field stops mitotic spindles from properly forming chains that pull apart the chromosome during cell division. This results in apoptosis (programmed cell death) of the cell. This only affects dividing cells, and at the rate cancer cells grow and divide, a very large percentage of the cells affected by these fields will be cancer cells. Collateral cell damage is almost non-existent compared to surgery, radiation, or chemo therapy.