A team of researchers from Philips Royal Electronics and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), both based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has demonstrated proof-of-concept for measuring improved tumor uptake through image-guided drug delivery in pre-clinical trials.
The therapeutic method uses MR to image a tumor’s uptake of chemotherapy drug carrying-particles, called liposomes, putatively allowing physicians to measure the dose received by a tumor and whether additional or alternative therapy would be necessary to achieve the desired tumor response.
While higher doses of chemotherapy drugs give rise to greater efficacy, tumor uptake is often constricted by poor local blood supply, on top of limited tolerance to side effects. Under the Philips-TU/e technique, the temperature-sensitive liposomes would carry both the chemotherapy drug and MR contrast. Upon arrival at the tumor site, an ultrasound beam targets the liposomes, heating them to remove the chemical. Meanwhile, the liposomes and their release of the drug would be visualized in real-time on MRI.
Philips and TU/e plan to move forward with an assessment of the potential therapeutic value of the technique with the long-term aim of human clinical trials. The project’s proof-of-concept findings are published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Controlled Release.