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Purpose To demonstrate the feasibility and safety of using focused ultrasound planning models to determine the treatment parameters needed to deliver volumetric mild hyperthermia for targeted drug delivery without real-time thermometry. Materials and Methods This study was part of the Targeted Doxorubicin, or TARDOX, phase I prospective trial of focused ultrasound-mediated, hyperthermia-triggered drug delivery to solid liver tumors ( identifier NCT02181075). Ten participants (age range, 49-68 years; average age, 60 years; four women) were treated from March 2015 to March 2017 by using a clinically approved focused ultrasound system to release doxorubicin from lyso-thermosensitive liposomes. Ultrasonic heating of target tumors (treated volume: 11-73 cm3 [mean ± standard deviation, 50 cm3 ± 26]) was monitored in six participants by using a minimally invasive temperature sensor; four participants were treated without real-time thermometry. For all participants, CT images were used with a patient-specific hyperthermia model to define focused ultrasound treatment plans. Feasibility was assessed by comparing model-prescribed focused ultrasound powers to those implemented for treatment. Safety was assessed by evaluating MR images and biopsy specimens for evidence of thermal ablation and monitoring adverse events. Results The mean difference between predicted and implemented treatment powers was -0.1 W ± 17.7 (n = 10). No evidence of focused ultrasound-related adverse effects, including thermal ablation, was found. Conclusion In this 10-participant study, the authors confirmed the feasibility of using focused ultrasound-mediated hyperthermia planning models to define treatment parameters that safely enabled targeted, noninvasive drug delivery to liver tumors while monitored with B-mode guidance and without real-time thermometry. Published under a CC BY 4.0 license. Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Dickey and Levi-Polyachenko in this issue.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





232 - 238


Aged, Antibiotics, Antineoplastic, Doxorubicin, Drug Delivery Systems, Drug Liberation, Feasibility Studies, Female, Humans, Hyperthermia, Induced, Liposomes, Liver Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Pharmaceutical Vehicles, Prospective Studies, Ultrasonic Therapy