Electric helmet helps shrink brain tumors

Our brains work a lot like TVs and computers.

They're powered by electrical currents that are the source of every thought and memory we have.

Now doctors are using a simple electrical current to treat brain tumors.

Just to look at Elaine Kiourtsis, you'd never know she is undergoing almost constant treatment for a serious brain tumor.

But tucked in a backpack she wears and neatly under her hat is a secret weapon that's given Elaine her life back.

 "Oh, it allows me to do everything. We go to church all the time, we go here, I'll tell you, it doesn't interfere," says Elaine.

A few months ago, Elaine was diagnosed with a dangerous type of brain tumor called a glioblastoma.

After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, doctors gave her a kind of helmet she wears up to 18 hours a day that bombards her brain with electrical currents.

Robert Cavaliere, a specialist at Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital says, "The currents then interrupt the ability of cells to divide, thereby leading to cellular death, thereby, leading to tumor death."

He says the device has shown a remarkable ability to not only slow the growth of brain tumors, but in some cases, tumors have actually shrunk.

Best of all, the electrical currents that kill cancer cells don't hurt healthy ones and it can work just as well as chemo but without the serious side affects.

Right now the device is only being used on brain tumors, but there are plans to test the technology on other types of cancer.

 Elaine says other than getting slightly warm at times, she often forgets it's there.

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