New approach could push limits of immunotherapy for difficult-to-treat cancers

Cancerous tumors that aren’t candidates for surgery or chemotherapy sometimes respond well to alternatives like immunotherapy, but even cutting-edge cancer treatments that harness the immune system have their limits.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison points toward a potential new approach for pushing the limits of immunotherapy, opening a door to more effective treatment of inoperable tumors and metastatic cancer.

Published in October in the journal Nature Communications, the approach relies on hydrogels or patches, depending on the location and type of the tumor, to deliver a suite of therapeutics that turbocharge the body’s immune response to cancer cells.

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