Novel approaches to treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic metastases using thermal ablation and thermosensitive liposomes

Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2013 Jul;22(3):545-61. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Because of the limitations of surgical resection, thermal ablation is commonly used for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases. Current methods of ablation can result in marginal recurrences of larger lesions and in tumors located near large vessels. This review presents a novel approach for extending treatment out to the margins where temperatures do not provide complete treatment with ablation alone, by combining thermal ablation with drug-loaded thermosensitive liposomes. A history of the development of thermosensitive liposomes is presented. Clinical trials have shown that the combination of radiofrequency ablation and doxorubicin-loaded thermosensitive liposomes is a promising treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Liposomes*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis


  • Liposomes