This review discusses basic aspects used to control the architecture and functional properties of smart hydrogels. The introduction briefly outlines what has been accomplished regarding smart hydrogels and explores historical aspects and the fundamental understanding of these systems. Then, a short discussion on the chemical interactions and the main variables involved in architectural construction is exhibited. Further analysis provides the basis for optimizing biological responses through system modulation. Finally, we outline perspectives and challenges for building smart hydrogels into functionalized and modulated delivery systems.
Non-invasive approaches for cell-free DNA (cfDNA) assessment provide an opportunity for cancer detection and intervention. Here, we use a machine learning model for detecting tumor-derived cfDNA through genome-wide analyses of cfDNA fragmentation in a prospective study of 365 individuals at risk for lung cancer. We validate the cancer detection model using an independent cohort of 385 non-cancer individuals and 46 lung cancer patients. Combining fragmentation features, clinical risk factors, and CEA levels, followed by CT imaging, detected 94% of patients with cancer across stages and subtypes, including 91% of stage I/II and 96% of stage III/IV, at 80% specificity. Genome-wide fragmentation profiles across ~13,000 ASCL1 transcription factor binding sites distinguished individuals with small cell lung cancer from those with non-small cell lung cancer with high accuracy (AUC = 0.98). A higher fragmentation score represented an independent prognostic indicator of survival. This approach provides a facile avenue for non-invasive detection of lung cancer.
In this study, we incorporate analyses of genome-wide sequence and structural alterations with pre- and on-therapy transcriptomic and T cell repertoire features in immunotherapy-naive melanoma patients treated with immune checkpoint blockade. Although tumor mutation burden is associated with improved treatment response, the mutation frequency in expressed genes is superior in predicting outcome. Increased T cell density in baseline tumors and dynamic changes in regression or expansion of the T cell repertoire during therapy distinguish responders from non-responders. Transcriptome analyses reveal an increased abundance of B cell subsets in tumors from responders and patterns of molecular response related to expressed mutation elimination or retention that reflect clinical outcome. High-dimensional genomic, transcriptomic, and immune repertoire data were integrated into a multi-modal predictor of response. These findings identify genomic and transcriptomic characteristics of tumors and immune cells that predict response to immune checkpoint blockade and highlight the importance of pre-existing T and B cell immunity in therapeutic outcomes.
Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy applied to solid tumors is a promising strategy, yet, the challenge to deliver these agents at high drug concentrations together with the maintenance of therapeutic doses locally, at the tumor site, minimizes its benefits. To overcome these obstacles, we propose the development of a bevacizumab-loaded alginate hydrogel by electrostatic interactions to design a delivery system for controlled and anti-angiogenic therapy under tumor microenvironmental conditions. The tridimensional hydrogel structure produced provides drug stability and a system able to be introduced as a flowable solution, stablishing a depot after local administration. Biological performance by the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay indicated a pH-independent improved anti-angiogenic activity (∼50%) compared to commercial available anti-VEGF drug. Moreover, there was a considerable regression in tumor size when treated with this system. Immunohistochemistry highlighted a reduced number and disorganization of microscopic blood vessels resulting from applied therapy. These results suggest that the developed hydrogel is a promising approach to create an innovative delivery system that offers the possibility to treat different solid tumors by intratumoral administration.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.