Faith and Hope with GBM

By: Lynn, Optune GioTM patient


To be quite honest, before I was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM), it was difficult to pinpoint the role that my faith, Judaism, played in my life.


I always held the belief that G-d was a spark within me and within every person and could be called upon when needed.


But when my life was going along smoothly, I didn’t think much about G-d.


It wasn’t until I was diagnosed that I looked inward and searched for that spark to help me. Like the saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes,” which means people become more faithful in times of fear or uncertainty.


Well, that’s how it was for me.

Faith comes in different forms

Of course, after I was diagnosed with GBM, my faith was often on my mind.


I remember when I first started Optune Gio and had to shave my hair (which had been long and red my entire life), a rabbi from my synagogue gave me a blessing for healing.


Having optimism for my life with Optune Gio is, in a way, like an act of faith. Faith in my medical team, my treatment plan, and myself.

In times of fear

Shortly after starting Optune Gio, I was invited to attend a weekly Torah study group (a forum) where we learn, discuss, and interpret a prescribed portion of the Old Testament each week. This learning really resonated with me. The more I learned, the more I thought about my faith and the more hope I had and still have that everything will be okay.


I spent time reflecting on G-d and Judaism, and soon, I found that spark I’d been searching for.


In addition to attending the weekly study group, I occasionally meditate and write about my experiences. Every morning, I thank G-d for restoring my soul and giving me another day of life. Living with GBM and Optune Gio isn’t always easy, but I am grateful for the time I have. And before bed, I recite the Shema, the most important prayer in my religion, acknowledging that G-d is One and the One protecting me forever and ever.

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Important Safety Information

What is Optune Gio® approved to treat?

Optune Gio is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.

Newly diagnosed GBM

If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune Gio is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:

  • Your cancer is confirmed by your healthcare professional AND
  • You have had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible

Recurrent GBM

If your tumor has come back, Optune Gio can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:

  • You have tried surgery and radiation and they did not work or are no longer working AND
  • You have tried chemotherapy and your GBM has been confirmed by your healthcare professional

Who should not use Optune Gio?

Optune Gio is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:

  • An implanted medical device (programmable shunt), skull defect (missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragment. Optune Gio has not been tested in people with implanted electronic devices, which may cause the devices not to work properly, and Optune Gio has not been tested in people with skull defects or bullet fragments, which may cause Optune Gio not to work properly 
  • A known sensitivity to conductive hydrogels (the gel on the arrays placed on the scalp like the ones used on EKGs). When Optune Gio comes into contact with the skin, it may cause more redness and itching or may rarely cause a life-threatening allergic reaction

Do not use Optune Gio if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Optune Gio is safe or effective during pregnancy.

What should I know before using Optune Gio?

Optune Gio should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure®, the maker of Optune Gio.

  • Do not use any parts that did not come with the Optune Gio Treatment Kit sent to you by Novocure or given to you by your doctor
  • Do not get the device or transducer arrays wet
  • If you have an underlying serious skin condition on the scalp, discuss with your doctor whether this may prevent or temporarily interfere with Optune Gio treatment

What are the possible side effects of Optune Gio?

Most common side effects of Optune Gio when used together with chemotherapy (temozolomide, or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, scalp irritation from the device, headache, seizure, and depression. The most common side effects when using Optune Gio alone were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headache. Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions.


Please click here for the Optune Gio Instructions For Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device’s indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

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US-OPG-00063 v2.0 March 2024