Intratumoral drug-releasing microdevices allow in situ high-throughput pharmaco phenotyping in patients with gliomas

Sci Transl Med. 2023 Sep 6;15(712):eadi0069. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.adi0069. Epub 2023 Sep 6.


The lack of reliable predictive biomarkers to guide effective therapy is a major obstacle to the advancement of therapy for high-grade gliomas, particularly glioblastoma (GBM), one of the few cancers whose prognosis has not improved over the past several decades. With this pilot clinical trial (number NCT04135807), we provide first-in-human evidence that drug-releasing intratumoral microdevices (IMDs) can be safely and effectively used to obtain patient-specific, high-throughput molecular and histopathological drug response profiling. These data can complement other strategies to inform the selection of drugs based on their observed antitumor effect in situ. IMDs are integrated into surgical practice during tumor resection and remain in situ only for the duration of the otherwise standard operation (2 to 3 hours). None of the six enrolled patients experienced adverse events related to the IMD, and the exposed tissue was usable for downstream analysis for 11 out of 12 retrieved specimens. Analysis of the specimens provided preliminary evidence of the robustness of the readout, compatibility with a wide array of techniques for molecular tissue interrogation, and promising similarities with the available observed clinical-radiological responses to temozolomide. From an investigational aspect, the amount of information obtained with IMDs allows characterization of tissue effects of any drugs of interest, within the physiological context of the intact tumor, and without affecting the standard surgical workflow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Liberation
  • Glioblastoma*
  • Glioma* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Temozolomide / therapeutic use


  • Temozolomide