Liposomal drug formulations in cancer therapy: 15 years along the road

Drug Discov Today. 2012 Feb;17(3-4):160-6. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2011.09.015. Epub 2011 Sep 29.


Liposomes as pharmaceutical drug carriers were developed to increase antitumour efficacy and decrease drug toxicity. Doxorubicin HCl liposomal injection was the first liposomal encapsulated anticancer drug to receive clinical approval. To date, virtually all traditional anticancer drugs have been encapsulated in liposomes. The majority of clinical studies only support the concept of a decreased toxicity and better tolerability of the liposomal anticancer drug. Although liposomal anticancer drugs have grown to maturity in several indications and are now in widespread further development programmes using their theoretical advantages to fulfil the high expectations, further studies are warranted--including the development of novel liposomal formulations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Approval
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Liposomes
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes
  • Doxorubicin