Interstitial Taxol Delivered from a Biodegradable Polymer Implant against Experimental Malignant Glioma1

Kevin A. Walter, Mitchell A. Cahan, Aya Gur, Betty Tyler, John Hilton, O. Michael Colvin, Peter C. Burger, Abraham Domb, Henry Brem

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207 Scopus citations


Taxol is a novel antitumor agent with demonstrated efficacy against ovarian, breast, and non-small cell lung cancers in Phase II clinical trials, but which has been shown not to cross the blood-brain barrier. To adapt taxol as a therapy for brain tumors, we have incorporated it into a biodegradable polyanhydride matrix for intracranial implantation and evaluated this formulation in a rat model of malignant glioma. Fischer 344 rats bearing intracranial 9L glioma tumors were treated with 10 mg poly[bis(p-carboxyphenoxy)propane-sebacic acid] (20:80) copolymer discs, containing 20–40% taxol by weight, 5 days after tumor implantation. The taxol-loaded polymers doubled (38 days, 40% taxol loading, P < 0.02) to tripled (61.5 days, 20% taxol loading, P < 0.001) the median survival of rats bearing tumor relative to control rats (19.5 days). Drug loadings of 20-40% taxol by weight released intact taxol for up to 1000 h in vitro. In rats followed up to 30 days postimplant, the polymer maintained a taxol concentration of 75–125 ng taxol/mg brain tissue (100–150 μM taxol) within a 1-3-mm radius of the disc At points more distant from the disc (up to 8 mm away, the size limit of the rat brain), the polymer maintained a taxol concentration of greater than 4 ng taxol/mg brain tissue (5 μM). We conclude that taxol shows promise as a therapy for malignant glioma when delivered interstitially from a biodegradable polymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2207-2212
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Cancer InstituteU01CA052857


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