INTRODUCTION: Due to the unprecedented, COVID-19 pandemic and resulting health/safety guidelines, rapid-adjustments to treatment plans for patients battling glioblastoma (GBM; debilitating, aggressive cancer) were critical. Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields; FDA-approved for GBM; antimitotic device) are alternating electric fields (200 kHz) delivered through scalp-placed transducer arrays to target rapidly dividing GBM cells. Visitor restrictions at cancer-centers created obstacles to cancer therapy. Health and safety of patients/caregivers, healthcare providers (HCPs), and patient Device Support Specialists (DSS) were prioritized. We evaluated the impact of Novocure® (device manufacturer) implemented strategies on overcoming limitations/restrictions to treatment-access during COVID-19.

TREATMENT/PROTOCOL: TTFields (Optune) offers a viable noninvasive, built-in-care system for convenient at-home use. TTFields provides survival benefit with continuous, portable-usage and is tolerable (no-related systemic effects) without overall impact on quality-of-life (except itchy skin). Novocure adopted/amended protocols to meet health guidance/regulation (ie, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local, hospital/clinic directives).

PERSPECTIVES: COVID-19 forced a change in treatment patterns imposed by quarantine limitations. This, coupled with the vulnerabilities of immunocompromised patients with GBM, necessitated new-access to TTFields. A COVID-19 task force was created to monitor developments, providing directives to minimize risks to patients/caregivers and employees. Hygiene-practices/full-personal protective equipment were applied for live patient-appointments with DSS. Virtual education appointments were executed to guide patients/caregivers through treatment-initiation. New, no-contact, monthly-usage data downloads captured through the MyLink system, a remote modem allowed data from the patient's device to upload directly to Novocure. MyLink increases Novocure's virtual support capability and enables the Novocure team to quickly access patients' usage data. Communication measures were implemented, informing HCPs of process changes impacting patients. To date, no observed differences were noted for virtual versus in-person patient starts, demographics, time-to-start, treatment discontinuations, percentage continuing therapy and overall complaints. No new safety signals were observed utilizing new approaches.

CONCLUSIONS: Care-delivery of TTFields has been transformed during COVID-19. Adoption of virtual-platforms/protocols, resulting in enhanced access and education for patients/caregivers, as well as healthcare teams, has helped bridge the access gap created by the pandemic.

Citation Format: Peggy M. Frongillo, Melissa Shackelford, Lindsay Rain. Rapid transformation of TTFields care-delivery during COVID-19 pandemic to optimize treatment of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr 717.