Hyperthermia-enhanced targeted drug delivery using magnetic resonance-guided focussed ultrasound: a pre-clinical study in a genetic model of pancreatic cancer.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International journal of hyperthermia : the official journal of European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology, North American Hyperthermia Group, p.1-8 (2017)


PURPOSE: The lack of effective treatment options for pancreatic cancer has led to a 5-year survival rate of just 8%. Here, we evaluate the ability to enhance targeted drug delivery using mild hyperthermia in combination with the systemic administration of a low-temperature sensitive liposomal formulation of doxorubicin (LTSL-Dox) using a relevant model for pancreas cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Experiments were performed in a genetically engineered mouse model of pancreatic cancer (KPC mice: LSL-Kras(G12D/+); LSL-Trp53(R172H/+); Pdx-1-Cre). LTSL-Dox or free doxorubicin (Dox) was administered via a tail vein catheter. A clinical magnetic resonance-guided high intensity focussed ultrasound (MR-HIFU) system was used to plan treatment, apply the HIFU-induce hyperthermia and monitor therapy. Post-therapy, total Dox concentration in tumour tissue was determined by HPLC and confirmed with fluorescence microscopy.

RESULTS: Localized hyperthermia was successfully applied and monitored with a clinical MR-HIFU system. The mild hyperthermia heating algorithm administered by the MR-HIFU system resulted in homogenous heating within the region of interest. MR-HIFU, in combination with LTSL-Dox, resulted in a 23-fold increase in the localised drug concentration and nuclear uptake of doxorubicin within the tumour tissue of KPC mice compared to LTSL-Dox alone. Hyperthermia, in combination with free Dox, resulted in a 2-fold increase compared to Dox alone.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that HIFU-induced hyperthermia in combination with LTSL-Dox can be a non-invasive and effective method in enhancing the localised delivery and penetration of doxorubicin into pancreatic tumours.