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Locoregional hyperthermia (HT) can be used for site-directed activation of macromolecular drug delivery systems. We have developed a gene delivery system based on thermosensitive block copolymers (TSCs) with a phase transition temperature of 42°C [Zintchenko, A., Ogris, M., and Wagner, E. (2006). Bioconjug. Chem. 17, 766-772], in which the statistical copolymer of vinylpyrrolidinone and N-isopropylacryamide is grafted on polyethylenimine (PEI). Here we applied polyplexes consisting of plasmid DNA and TSCs systemically in A/J mice bearing a syngeneic Neuro2A neuroblastoma tumor subcutaneously in each hind limb. One limb was selectively treated by HT at 42°C, at the same time that polyplexes were injected via the tail vein. Hyperthermia led to increased accumulation of thermosensitive polymer and aggregation of thermosensitive polyplexes in HT-treated tumors, resulting in up to 10-fold increased DNA deposition compared with non-HT-treated tumor. The level of transgene expression induced by TSC polyplexes in HT-treated tumors was significantly higher and selective for tumor tissue. With nonthermosensitive PEI polyplexes HT did not influence transgene deposition or expression in tumor. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2008.

Original publication




Journal article


Human Gene Therapy

Publication Date





1283 - 1292