Taking Road Trips with Optune GioTM

By: Lynn and Larry, Optune Gio Ambassadors

Alternative travel plans

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, air travel was out of the question for us. So, my wife and I had to come up with an alternative plan. For a while, we didn’t feel comfortable staying in hotels or eating in restaurants, so a road trip would be a challenge—that is, until we decided to rent a small RV to travel to Michigan. That way we would have everything we needed with us. We packed up our clothing, our food, and the Optune Gio supplies and camped our way from suburban Philadelphia to suburban Detroit in about 10 days. We reserved campsites in advance to make sure we could connect to electricity.

Scoping out the necessities

When choosing the RV, it was important to check what type of power it had, how many outlets there were in the vehicle, and where it would be comfortable for Lynn to sleep with Optune Gio. We also checked where the battery charger would be plugged in and where the wall outlet would be. We took all the batteries we had, the battery charger, and enough arrays for as many changes we thought we would need plus some extra. MyNovocure™, Novocure’s support program, will send any supplies that are needed for travel. We made sure we had ample space to change the arrays inside the RV.

 

In February 2022, we planned a much longer road trip—from suburban Philadelphia to Key West and back—for 23 days. We took this trip by car because, by then, we were more comfortable staying in hotels. Still not comfortable eating indoors at restaurants, we had to pack our food again. We reserved hotels ahead of time in several cities along the way, making sure that each place we stayed in would have a refrigerator and a microwave. We also had to make sure the electric outlets were near the bed so Optune Gio could be plugged in overnight. It was key for us to check out the space ahead of time to see if it was comfortable enough for array changes. Because of all the supplies we had to carry in and out at each stop, we stayed at each hotel for at least two nights. We planned our stays to be in areas that we wanted to explore during the day, so the two-night stays made that more convenient as well.

Planning and preparation

When taking a road trip, it’s very important to plan ahead. Be sure to have enough batteries, arrays, and any other supplies you need. Make sure you can connect to electricity wherever you stop, so that you can recharge batteries. When we travel, we like to drive only about five hours per day so we aren’t totally exhausted by the evening.

 

When we take shorter day trips, we make sure to have several charged batteries with us in the car. The fully charged batteries last about two to three hours so the distance we are driving determines how many we take with us for the day. In fact, we always keep at least one charged battery in the car in case of emergency, even if we are staying close to home. Lynn does not take extra breaks from Optune Gio because we are traveling. We schedule array changes around the activities that we do, such as swimming or boating. Our philosophy is simple—when Lynn uses the device, it’s working and when it’s off, it’s not.

 

With good planning, road trips are very doable with Optune Gio. Just don’t forget your shower cap!

 

Happy travels!

Back to Patient stories

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.

Novocure Websites

This website is intended for people seeking information on Optune Gio.

On this site, videos and images identified as Optune Gio users, caregivers, or healthcare professionals depict actual patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

Patient images reflect the health status of the patients at the time each photo or video was taken.

 


External links

Tumortreatingfieldstherapy.com
Optunelua.com
Novocuretrials.com


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US-OPG-00063v0.2 November 2023