A chitosan hydrogel-based cancer drug delivery system exhibits synergistic antitumor effects by combining with a vaccinia viral vaccine

Hee Dong Han, Chung Kil Song, Yong Sung Park, Kyung Hee Noh, Jin Hee Kim, Taewon Hwang, Tae Woo Kim, Byung Cheol Shin

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91 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer treatment combining chemotherapy and immunotherapy has been vigorously exploited to further improve cancer therapeutic efficacy. This study investigated a new chemoimmunotherapy approach utilizing hydrogel as a local anti-cancer drug delivery system. Chitosan hydrogel containing doxorubicin (CH-DOX) and vaccinia virus vaccine expressing Sig/E7/LAMP-1 (Vac-Sig/E7/LAMP-1) were used as chemoimmunotherapeutic agents. It was found that intratumoral injection of CH-DOX effectively inhibited tumor growth itself and, in addition, exhibited a synergistic antitumor effect in combination with a vaccinia virus-based vaccine. This combination did not decrease but rather increased the number of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells primed by vaccinia virus-mediated vaccination; the resulting antitumor effects were further improved up to 60 days as compared with monotherapy after tumor challenge, and the survival of tumor-bearing mice was dramatically prolonged. This study is a pioneer report that demonstrates the use of a biodegradable hydrogel system as an anti-cancer drug delivery system for successful chemoimmunotherapy. It is hoped that, this study can provide a foundation for a rational approach to improve antitumor efficacy of chemoimmunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 28



  • Chemoimmunotherapy
  • Doxorubicin
  • Hydrogel
  • Vaccinia vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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