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An electric skull cap designed to zap cancer cells trying to grow in the brains of wearers proved useful at improving patient survival in a five-year clinical trial.
When combined with standard chemotherapy, the cap more than doubled five-year survival rates of brain cancer patients—from 5 percent to 13 percent—researchers reported Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research being held in Washington, DC.

The trial involved 695 patients newly diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.
The modest survival improvement is exciting for such a nasty form of cancer, researchers said. “Glioblastoma is the deadliest primary malignancy of the central nervous system for adults,” Dr. Roger Stupp, professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern, said in a press release. “The last time any form of treatment was shown to improve survival for patients with this disease was more than 10 years ago.”
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