Controlled delivery of TLR agonists in structural polymeric devices

Scientist at the Mooney lab demonstrated that three different types of pathogens could be incorporated to act as adjuvant in cancer vaccines. They have successfully incorporated three Toll-like receptor agonists (TLR) within a structural polymeric device to provide sustained and strong immune response and consequently diminish melanoma tumors within mice model.

Furthermore, the inventors demonstrate that these agents, when used in combination, show significant synergy leading to an enhanced activation of two subsets of Dendritic cells, inducing T-cell response at the tumor site in an aggressive melanoma cancer model. Interestingly, they demonstrated that this immune-mediated reaction stopped melanoma tumor growth, caused tumor shrinkage, and induced significant, selective anti-tumor immune response in tumor bearing mice models.

This proposed technology may influence the future design and application of cancer vaccine systems in general. TLR agonists presented on structural polymeric devices may have a profound impact on the treatment of Melanoma and other solid tumors.


Among cancer therapeutics, cancer vaccines have attracted great attention and have been under intensive study over several decades. Cancer vaccines are aimed at boosting the body’s natural ability to protect itself, through the immune system, eliminating cancer cells. There are two broad types of cancer vaccines: preventive (or prophylactic) vaccines and treatment (or therapeutic) vaccines. Currently in United States, the and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two types of cancer preventive vaccines and one cancer treatment vaccine.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending