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Pharmacol Ther. 1998 Jun;78(3):141-54.

Therapy of cancer metastasis by tumoricidal activation of tissue macrophages using liposome-encapsulated immunomodulators.

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Department of Cell Biology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


The therapy of cancer requires strategies that can eradicate metastatic disease. Metastases consist of unique subpopulations of tumor cells that are able to colonize distant organs and become autonomous from homeostatic mechanisms. Conventional therapies generally have been unsuccessful due to biological heterogeneity in metastatic tumors. It is possible to circumvent this heterogeneity by the tumoricidal activation of tissue macrophages. Activation can be achieved by encapsulation of immunomodulators, e.g., muramyl tripeptide analogues, into liposomes, and this form of immunomodulation leads to eradication of established tumor metastases in numerous animal tumor models. Modulation of the tumor microenvironment by activated macrophages may prove to be an additional modality in therapy that combines the use of biological response modifiers with conventional therapies.

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