Focal cancer therapy can improve clinical outcomes. Here, we evaluated injectable heparin-containing hydrogel material loaded with doxorubicin as a focal breast cancer therapy. We utilized a binary heparin/polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogel that was processed post synthesis into hydrogel microparticle aggregates to yield a readily injectable hydrogel. When loaded with doxorubicin, the injectable hydrogel microparticle aggregates had excellent short- and long-term anticancer activity against human breast cancer cells in vitro. Efficacy as a focal anticancer therapy was also evaluated in vivo by local injection of the doxorubicin-loaded PEG-heparin hydrogel microparticle aggregates into mice with established human orthotopic breast tumours. Animals showed significant antitumour responses by reduction in both primary tumour growth and metastasis when compared to animals which received the equivalent doxorubicin dose via an intravenous bolus injection. Overall, PEG-heparin hydrogel microparticle aggregates are emerging as a potential anticancer drug delivery system for focal therapy.
- breast cancer
- microparticle drug delivery