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TheraTarget has unique capabilities and expertise in creating polymer drug-carrier systems that effectively deliver drugs via the blood stream to treat various forms of cancer through a solid tumor targeted approach. For solid hypervascular tumors that are generally unresponsive to systemic chemotherapy, localized treatments such as local chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or ablative therapy offer palliative treatment options that can slow the progression of the disease. The most widely used treatment is transcatheter arterial chemoemobolization (TACE). This treatment involves inserting a catheter into an artery near the tumor and injecting a combination of chemotherapeutic drug(s) and an embolic into the vascular supply of the tumor, consequently blocking blood flow and infusing the drug into the tumor, thus killing the cancer cells. An ideal chemoembolic system would provide a single material that acts both as an embolizing agent and as a drug delivery depot. The objectives of using endovascular catheters to selectively access the arteries in the liver under radiographic imaging are as follows: (1) to deliver an embolizing agent to the arteries of the tumor(s), selectively blocking blood flow causing ischemic necrosis, and (2) to co-deliver a chemotherapeutic agent or cocktail of agents, which concentrate in the tumor. A liquid chemoembolic system is not currently available in the market. We hypothesize that the gel-forming silk-elastinlike protein polymer (SELP) can be designed to perform both functions as a novel injectable, in situ liquid-to-solid transforming system to be used in TACE for localized delivery of chemotherapeutics in the treatment of hypervascular tumors. At room temperature they can be injected as a liquid. In the blood vessels at 37 °C, they transition into a solid hydrogel capable of vessel occlusion.

SELP has a number of advantages over currently mselp1arketed therapies:

  • Deep penetration, more extensive occlusion
  • Low viscosity, use of smaller gauge catheters
  • Improved selectivity of targeted vessels
  • Rapid and stable occlusion
  • Less material necessary for occlusion
  • Aqueous formulation compatible with many drugs
  • Ease of Use: Prior to use, combine SELP with drug(s), load syringe, and inject