ImmunoGel to treat immunotherapy-resistant cancer

Year 2023
Project team Giovanni Traverso with Avik Som, Jan-Georg Rosenboom and Eric Wehrenberg
80% of cancer patients do not respond to systemic immunotherapy
Intratumoral drugs often fail
Polymeric drug delivery could overcome challenges

A personalized cancer vaccine

Systemic immunotherapy is often used to treat cancer, but 80 percent of patients do not respond to it. A new paradigm calls for injecting drugs directly into a tumor to “teach” the immune system and trigger a systemic response to widespread disease. However, current approaches for intratumoral drugs and their clinical trials often fail. This team is developing “ImmunoGel,” a polymeric drug delivery platform for intratumoral immunoadjuvants. This approach would allow controlled and extended drug release and enable clinician tracking of delivery.

Collaborators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a way to inject tumors and create beacons to train the immune system to eliminate the tumor and fight new ones. (Video courtesy G. Traverso)

Immune action at a distance

Researchers design a local, gel-based drug-delivery platform that may provoke a system-wide immune response to metastatic tumors