Hyperthermia and liposomes

Int J Hyperthermia. 1999 Sep-Oct;15(5):345-70. doi: 10.1080/026567399285558.


Hyperthermia and liposomal drug delivery are treatment modalities that have been used to treat cancer over the last two decades. More recently, the two therapies have been used together in an attempt to exploit their mutual interactions against cancer. The goal of this review is to explore the literature related to combined hyperthermia and liposomal drug delivery for cancer therapy. The motivation behind combining hyperthermia and liposomal drug delivery is discussed from a physical chemical and physiological standpoint. Two types of therapeutic ratios were calculated for in vivo studies from across the literature. These ratios compared the results obtained from hyperthermia and liposomes to hyperthermia and free drug as well as to liposomes without hyperthermia. These two therapeutic ratios were applied to both tumour drug uptake and tumour growth delay studies. In all studies reviewed, hyperthermia in combination with liposomal drug showed an enhanced therapeutic effect compared to either treatment modality alone or hyperthermia and free drug. Future work needs to be focused on optimizing thermosensitive liposomes and understanding the effect of thermal dose on liposomal drug delivery. Though not currently used in the clinic, this combination therapy seems to hold great promise towards improving current cancer therapeutic regimens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Carriers
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Liposomes*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Temperature


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes