Treating GBM


What are the treatment options for GBM?

Learning more about GBM treatment options can be a good place to start and can help you have more informed conversations with your doctor.

Dennis is an Optune Gio user and Patient Ambassador, and Yvonne is his wife and care partner.

Why is GBM hard to treat?

You may have heard that GBM can be hard to treat. That has a lot to do with where GBM appears in the brain. Because GBM can be hard to reach, surgery may not remove the entire tumor.


GBM also grows fast and can spread quickly. But a variety of approaches are available to treat GBM. The more you know about your options—and the sooner you know about them—the greater your opportunity to take control of GBM.

A Neurosurgeon Explains

“In glioblastoma, tumor cells can be found far from where the tumor is seen on an MRI. So, I set expectations from the very first conversation that, even when the postoperative MRI looks perfect, there are tumor cells left behind that will come back unless treated.”

– Steven Toms, MD, MPH, FACS, FAANS

Treatments for newly diagnosed GBM

Your healthcare team will work with you to develop a treatment plan. They may recommend some or all of the following options:

Treating with surgery

  • Surgery may be performed if the tumor is located in a spot that doctors can reach
  • The goal of surgery is to remove as much of the tumor as possible
  • During surgery, a tumor sample, known as a biopsy, can be taken. This can be tested for “tumor markers,” which can help your doctor determine exactly what type of tumor it is and what treatments may work better for you

*Temozolomide, also known as Temodar®.

How will Optune Gio fit into my treatment plan for newly diagnosed GBM?

After a GBM diagnosis, your treatment plan might look like this:

Radiation + Chemo
Optune Gio + Chemo

Treatments for recurrent GBM

If you or your loved one has recurrent GBM, there are a few different ways your doctor can treat it. As with newly diagnosed GBM, your doctor may recommend surgery, radiation, or additional chemotherapy. Here are some other ways that your doctor can treat recurrent GBM:

Treating with anti-angiogenic therapy

  • Anti-angiogenic therapy is a type of medicine that helps to stop the growth of blood vessels that feed tumor growth

How will Optune Gio fit into my treatment plan for recurrent GBM?


If you have recurrent GBM, Optune Gio is used alone once treatment options like surgery and radiation are no longer effective. Treatments for recurrent GBM may include:


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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