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Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Heat-activated liposome encapsulated doxorubicin (ThermoDox) for hepatocellular carcinoma – first line

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Heat-activated liposome encapsulated doxorubicin (ThermoDox) for hepatocellular carcinoma – first line


Cancer and Palliative Care

December 2011

ThermoDox is a heat-activated liposomal formulation of doxorubicin, which releases the encapsulated product when heated through microwave thermotherapy or radiofrequency ablation to a temperature of 39-42°C. By directing heat to the site of the tumour, the drug is targeted to the affected area, localising treatment and enhancing tumour cytotoxicity as well as reducing systemic toxicity. Utilising heat-activated doxorubicin in conjunction with radiofrequency ablation results in destruction of tumour cells via pharmacological mechanisms as well as the effects of the ablation itself throughout the heated region.
In the pivotal phase III trial, ThermoDox for hepatocellular carcinoma was administered at 50mg/m² 15 minutes prior to radiofrequency ablation. Doxorubicin is indicated, in combination chemotherapy regimens with other cytostatic drugs, for a wide range of oncology indications.
If licensed for this indication ThermoDox may provide a first line treatment option for this patient group, who currently have limited effective therapeutic options.

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