Drug-eluting polymer implants in cancer therapy

Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2008 Jul;5(7):775-88. doi: 10.1517/17425247.5.7.775.


Background: Drug-eluting polymer implants present a compelling parenteral route of administration for cancer chemotherapy. With potential for minimally invasive, image-guided placement and highly localized drug release, these delivery systems are playing an increasingly important role in cancer management. This is particularly true as the use of labile proteins and other bioactive molecules is likely to increase in the upcoming years.

Objective: In this review, we present the current trends in the application of Pre-formed and in situ-forming systems as drug-eluting implants for cancer chemotherapy.

Methods: We outline the clinically available options as well as up-and-coming technologies and their advantages and challenges. We also describe ongoing related innovations with image-guided drug delivery, mathematical modeling of implanted delivery systems and implanted drug delivery in combination with other therapies.

Results/conclusion: Whether used alone or combined with other minimally invasive procedures, drug-eluting polymeric implants will play a significant role in the future of cancer management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Implants*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Polymers


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Implants
  • Polymers