Research ArticleCancer

In situ formed reactive oxygen species–responsive scaffold with gemcitabine and checkpoint inhibitor for combination therapy

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Science Translational Medicine  21 Feb 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 429, eaan3682
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan3682

An antitumor two-step

Although cancer immunotherapy can be quite effective, it has a variety of drawbacks. Most patients still do not achieve remission, whereas those who respond to therapy often experience immune-related side effects. Wang et al. address both of these concerns by maximizing drug access to tumors and minimizing systemic exposure. To achieve this, the authors designed a hydrogel that they inject at the site of a tumor, where it forms a scaffold for sequential release of drugs. A cytotoxic chemotherapy is released first, killing some cancer cells before the release of most of an immune checkpoint inhibitor, which then stimulates antitumor immunity. With this approach, the authors demonstrate efficacy in mouse models of primary tumors, as well as those that recur after surgery.

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