Antitumor efficacy and local distribution of doxorubicin via intratumoral delivery from polymer millirods

Brent D. Weinberg, Hua Ai, Elvin Blanco, James M. Anderson, Jinming Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antitumor efficacy and local drug distribution from doxorubicin-containing poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) implants for intratumoral treatment of liver cancer in a rabbit model. Cylindrical polymer millirods (length 8 mm, diameter 1.5 mm) were produced using 65% PLGA, 21.5% NaCl, and 13.5% doxorubicin. These implants were placed in the center of VX2 liver tumors (n = 16, ∼8 mm in diameter) in rabbits. Tumors were removed 4 and 8 days after millirod implantation, and antitumor efficacy was assessed using tumor size measurements, tumor histology, and fluorescent measurement of drug distribution. The treated tumors were smaller than the untreated controls on both day 4 (0.17 ± 0.06 vs. 0.31 ± 0.08 cm2, p = 0.048) and day 8 (0.14 ± 0.04 vs. 1.8 ± 0.8 cm2, p = 0.025). Drug distribution profiles demonstrated high doxorubicin concentrations (>1000 μg/g) at the tumor core at both time points and drug penetration distances of 2.8 and 1.3 mm on day 4 and 8, respectively. Histological examination confirmed necrosis throughout the tumor tissue. Biodegradable polymer millirods successfully treated the primary tumor mass by providing high doxorubicin concentrations to the tumor tissue over an eight day period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Biodegradable polymer
  • Intratumoral drug delivery
  • Minimally invasive therapy
  • Polymer implants
  • VX2 tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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