Profiling a Prophylactic Local Triple Therapy Hydrogel Patch to Treat and Prevent Cancer Recurrence


This technology is a hydrogel patch containing conjugated metal nanoparticles that facilitate local delivery of a combination of gene therapy, drug therapy, and phototherapy to treat tumors synergistically and precisely, thereby preventing their recurrence.

Problem Addressed

Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality, with more than 10 million new cases reported every year in the U.S.A. and Europe. Conventional cancer therapies involve the systemic delivery of anticancer agents. This approach cannot distinguish between cancer cells and normal cells, leading to the damage of healthy tissues. Frequently, solid tumor treatment also involves surgical resection of the tumor, which can cause complications including bleeding at the surgical site and injury to nearby organs. This treatment does not eliminate the risk of recurrence. Moreover, there remains a need for multi-modal cancer therapies to treat cancer synergistically and effectively prevent cancer relapse. Nanotechnology has progressed in recent years to supply important advances in tumor detection, imaging, therapies, and gene and drug delivery systems. This technology is a novel three-pronged therapeutic approach to killing cancer cells with precision and preventing relapse utilizing gene therapy, drug therapy, and phototherapy.


This invention is comprised of a hydrogel scaffold loaded with conjugated gold nanoparticles that provide cancer therapy locally through three distinct mechanisms. The hydrogel patch can be implanted adjacent to a solid tumor. These nanoparticles are functionalized with biomolecules targeting unique or overexpressed biomarkers in tumor cells. The first mode of cancer therapy takes advantage of gold nanoparticles’ capacity to convert near-infrared radiation into heat, enabling delivery of photothermal therapy to tumors following irradiation. Second, gold nanorods can be conjugated to targeted therapeutic drug molecules, which are released from nanoparticles upon irradiation. Third, gold nanospheres can be conjugated to small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that silence expression of oncogenic drivers and are also released from nanoparticles following irradiation.

Collectively, these therapies selectively kill cancer cells and prevent tumor progression and relapse by delivering local phototherapy and targeting cancer cell molecular vulnerabilities with gene therapy and drug therapy. This hydrogel patch achieves delivery of effector molecules preferentially to cancer cells with only minor damage to surrounding cells, preserving healthy tissue. Drug-gold nanorods and siRNA-gold nanospheres can be modified to tailor treatment to various tumor types with distinct molecular profiles. 


  • Simultaneous delivery of gene therapy, drug therapy, and phototherapy to solid tumors
  • Modifiable composition of nanoparticles enables targeting of unique molecular vulnerabilities, facilitating a precision medicine approach to cancer treatment
  • Hydrogel patch enables local delivery of cancer therapy, preserving healthy tissues