Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at targeting chemotherapy to the liver using focused ultrasound (TARDOX)
This study was for people with liver cancer or with cancer that had spread to the liver from another part of the body (secondary liver cancer).
More about this trial
You usually have chemotherapy as tablets or as a drip into your vein. Both ways use the bloodstream to get the chemotherapy drug to the cancer.
In this study, doctors looked at a new way to direct the chemotherapy specifically to the liver cancer. They did this by using a drug called lyso-thermosensitive liposomal doxorubicin (ThermoDox®).
ThermoDox® is the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin wrapped in a fatty covering called liposome which melts a few degrees above body temperature. Doctors think that by gently heating a liver cancer whilst ThermoDox® is circulating in the bloodstream, more doxorubicin is released into the liver cancer, than if normal doxorubicin is given. Having more doxorubicin inside the liver cancer helps to kill more cancer cells.
To warm up the ThermoDox® in the liver cancer, doctors used a special ultrasound scan called a focused ultrasound from outside of the body.
Summary of results
- 7 people with bowel cancer that had spread to the liver
- 1 person with breast cancer that had spread to the liver
- 1 person with lung cancer that had spread to the liver
- 1 person with cancer that started in the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma)
- hair loss (alopecia)
- tiredness (fatigue)
- feeling or being sick
- tummy (abdominal), muscle and bone pain
- loss of appetite
- 6 people had an increased risk of infection
- 1 person had a drop in the number of red blood cells (anaemia) increasing the risk of breathlessness and looking pale
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Mark Middleton
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
University of Oxford
NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Oxford Centre for Drug Delivery Devices
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)