Celsion announces publication of ThermoDox Phase I clinical study results
Celsion Corporation announced that results from a Phase I trial of ThermoDox were published in the peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet Oncology. Conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of biomedical engineers, oncologists, radiologists and anesthetists at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, the trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of ThermoDox, Celsion's proprietary heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin, along with focused ultrasound for the treatment of liver cancer. Referred to as the TARDOX Study, the trial demonstrated that the ThermoDox plus focused ultrasound technique increased doxorubicin delivery to tumors between two- and ten-fold in the majority of patients in this 10-patient trial. A lysolipid thermally sensitive liposome encapsulating the chemotherapy agent, doxorubicin, ThermoDox is designed to release targeted levels of doxorubicin into and around liver tumors with heat activation. In this Phase I study, and consistent with the ThermoDox(R) heat-activated design, the amount of drug passively reaching the tumor was low and estimated to be below therapeutic levels before ultrasound exposure. Following focused ultrasound application with ThermoDox, chemotherapy concentrations within the liver tumor were between two and ten times higher in seven out of 10 patients, with an average increase of 3.7 times across all patients. The Phase I trial evaluated patients with inoperable primary or secondary liver tumors and who had previously received chemotherapy. The procedure was carried out under general anaesthesia, and patients received a single intravenous dose of 50 mg/m2 of ThermoDox. The target tumor was selectively heated to over 39.5o C using an approved ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound device at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. In six patients, the temperature at the target tumor was monitored using a temporarily implanted probe, while in the remaining four patients, ultrasonic heating was carried out non-invasively. Side effects were monitored for 30 days after the procedure, and apart from the existing side effects caused by general anesthetic and chemotherapy, no additional side effects were observed. Five patients experienced grade 4 neutropenia, but their symptoms were resolved without treatment, and one patient experienced mild confusion after the procedure, which was resolved.