PhD defense by Elizabeth Chávez

On Monday 23 May 2022, Elizabeth Chávez will defend her PhD thesis "CarboCell: a novel drug delivery system for the formulation of immunotherapeutics for cancer treatment".

Time: 13:00

Place: Building 303A, auditorium 43

Please be aware that the PhD defense may be recorded - This will also be informed at the beginning of the PhD defense.


Supervisor: Jonas Rosager Henriksen

Co-Supervisor: Anders Elias Hansen, Thomas Lars Andresen


Assessment committee:
Associate Professor Andrew Urquhart, DTU Health Tech

Senior Researcher Dennis Christensen, Statens Serum Institut

Lecturer Nazila Kamaly, Imperial College London


Senior Researcher Anders Elias Hansen, DTU Health Tech



Immunotherapy has emerged as a revolutionary cancer treatment and an encouraging alternative to traditional cancer therapies as surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy is focused on generating and enhancing an anti-cancer immune response in the body of the patient that is both effective and durable. However, in the current clinical practice, only a small fraction of patients are respondent to cancer immunotherapy. Moreover, most of the immunotherapies are systemically administered, which is often associated with severe toxic effects particularly for therapies aimed at activating and bridging the innate and adaptive immune responses. Intratumoral administration can be a useful alternative strategy, but low injection reproducibility, rapid drug clearance from tumors and drug leakage into blood circulation can negatively affect the therapeutic response and compromise patient safety.

We have developed the CarboCell drug delivery system to address the aforementioned challenges for intratumoral immunotherapy. CarboCell is a low viscosity fluid that upon injection, it self-forms a highly viscous depot that acts as both drug reservoir and localization marker. CarboCell provides a sustained drug release that can enable continuous immune stimulation of the tumor microenvironment while minimizing systemic drug exposure, in addition to secure accurate and reproducible intratumoral injections. This project was focused on the formulation and delivery of Toll-like receptors 7/8 agonists, particularly resiquimod (R848), and the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) inhibitor RepSox. The present PhD thesis describes the characterization and formulation development of the CarboCell as well as its in vivo therapeutic efficacy in murine models. Overall, we demonstrated that the CarboCell can induce a local and systemic anti-cancer response, thus the CarboCell platform has great potential for future advancement as an effective and safe strategy for intratumoral immunotherapy.


Mon 23 May 22
13:00 - 16:00


Building 303A, auditorium 43 & zoom