Early Evidence Shows Positive Data for Hyperthermia Drug
It may not be nano-robots yet, but hyperthermia triggered smart release drugs are here to stay. Celsion, the maker of the chemotherapy drug ThermoDox, announced data from its Phase 2 DIGNITY trial for recurrent chest wall (RCW) breast cancer. The early results, available from their recent press release, show that every patient in the trial experienced a clinical benefit.
ThermoDox is one of several heat-activated nanoparticle liposomal encapsulated drugs arriving on the market. Like traditional chemotherapy, the encapsulated drug is delivered through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. The difference is that the drug is only released when it reaches the tumor and nowhere else. It does this using a hyperthermic response mechanism. Patients receive localized hyperthermia treatments to heat the tumor to 42˚C (108˚F). The hyperthermia treatment begins to shrink and sensitizes the tumor to chemotherapy. When the drug reaches the “thermal zone” (40˚C or higher), it opens up the encapsulation releasing the chemo on target.
Doing this not only makes sure that enough therapeutic drug gets delivered to the cancer tumor, but also protects the rest of the body from the harmful side effects of traditional chemotherapy delivery. The remainder of the unused drugs gets flushed through the body naturally. I have linked the Celsion webpage that has a great video demonstrating the process.