Rafael D, Merce Roca Melendres, Andrade F, Montero S, Martinez-Trucharte F, Vilar-Hernandez M, Francisco Duran-Lara, Schwartz S Jr, Abasolo I

Int J Pharm. 2021 Jul 28:120954. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120954.



Despite the enormous efforts done by the scientific community in the last decades, advanced cancer is still considered an incurable disease. New formulations are continuously under investigation to improve drugs therapeutic index, i.e., increase chemotherapeutic efficacy and reduce adverse effects. In this context, hydrogels-based systems for drug local sustained/controlled release have been proposed to reduce off-target effects caused by the repeated administration of systemic/oral anticancer drugs and improve their therapeutic effectiveness. Moreover, it increases the patient welfare by reducing the number of administrations needed. Among the several types of existing hydrogels, the thermo-responsive ones, which are able to change their physical state from liquid at 25 °C to a gel at the body temperature, i.e., 37 °C, gained special attention as in situ sustained drug release depot-systems in cancer treatment. To date, several thermo-responsive hydrogels have been used for drugs and/or genetic material delivery, yielding promising results both at preclinical and clinical evaluation stages. This culminates in the market authorization of Jelmyto® for the treatment of urothelial cancer. Here are summarized and discussed the last 10 years advances regarding the application of thermo-responsive hydrogels in local cancer treatment.