Polymer implants for intratumoral drug delivery and cancer therapy

Brent D. Weinberg, Elvin Blanco, Jinming Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


To address the need for minimally invasive treatment of unresectable tumors, intratumoral polymer implants have been developed to release a variety of chemotherapeutic agents for the locoregional therapy of cancer. These implants, also termed "polymer millirods," were designed to provide optimal drug release kinetics to improve drug delivery efficiency and antitumor efficacy when treating unresectable tumors. Modeling of drug transport properties in different tissue environments has provided theoretical insights on rational implant design, and several imaging techniques have been established to monitor the local drug concentrations surrounding these implants both ex vivo and in vivo. Preliminary antitumor efficacy and drug distribution studies in a rabbit liver tumor model have shown that these implants can restrict tumor growth in small animal tumors (diameter < 1 cm). In the future, new approaches, such as three-dimensional (3-D) drug distribution modeling and the use of multiple drug-releasing implants, will be used to extend the efficacy of these implants in treating larger tumors more similar to intractable human tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1681-1702
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Controlled release
  • Drug targeting
  • Drug transport
  • Imaging methods
  • Mathematical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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