Archive \ Volume.7 2016 Issue 1

A comparison between liposomal and nonliposomal formulations of doxorubicin in the treatment of cancer: An updated review

Yik Hoe Ngan , Manish Gupta
Abstract

Cancer remains a major cause of hospitalization and death every year. From time to time, new formulations of anticancer drugs are available in the market and draw the concern of healthcare professionals in terms of the superiority, toxicology, and cost‑effectiveness of the new formulations in comparison to the conventional formulation of the same drugs. Doxorubicin, which is a highly potent chemotherapeutic agent, comes with three formulations (pegylated liposomal, nonpegylated liposomal and nonliposomal conventional formulations). English‑language literature in relation to the three formulations has been reviewed to inform the healthcare professionals regarding the differences between these formulations. In terms of efficacy, there is only one study supporting the superiority of liposomal doxorubicin, but there are more data which supports the non-inferiority of liposomal doxorubicin in comparison to conventional non-liposomal doxorubicin. It is emphasized that liposomal doxorubicin promotes better toxicology profile than nonliposomal conventional doxorubicin with an increased cost. The cost‑effectiveness of liposomal doxorubicin is not well defined as there are very limited studies in this area. Apart from that, this review highlights the interpatient variability in regards to the clearance and volume of distribution following the administration of liposomal doxorubicin. In conclusion, further studies will be required to better define the superiority of liposomal formulation of doxorubicin regarding the efficacy and dose standardization of liposomal doxorubicin should be sought in the near future.