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Developing novel drug delivery systems using ultrasound, capable of enhancing drug penetration into and around a tumour, whilst minimising patient toxicity.

Feasibility of enhanced chemotherapy delivery to non-resectable primary pancreatic tumours using thermosensitive liposomal doxorubicin (Thermodox®) and focused ultrasound

The PanDox clinical trial is a follow on from the TarDox study. Run through the Oncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO), this study is developing a drug delivery system capable of enhancing drug penetration into and around a tumour, whilst minimising toxicity to the patient.

By using focused ultrasound (FUS) to generate heat, only defined areas (approximately the size of a grain of rice) are targeted for treatment. In combination, chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin can be encapsulated in a heat-sensitive lipids (ThermoDox®), so that the active drug is only released when a specific temperature is reached at a specified location, as defined by the position of the FUS beam.

PanDox trial translates this approach to patients with non-resectable pancreatic adenocarcinomas. It will combine focused ultrasound to generate heat with ThermoDox® delivered into the blood.

The main aim of PanDox is to determine whether this novel approach to treating pancreatic cancer can enhance the amount of drug delivered to tumours that cannot be surgically removed. Secondary aims will assess tumour response and procedural safety.

More information about this study can be found on the OCTO webpage.