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Ricercatore a tempo det. art. 24 c. 3 lett. B L. 240/2010






1. Catania G, Rodella G, Vanvarenberg K, Préat V, Malfanti A., Combination of hyaluronic acid conjugates with immunogenic cell death inducer and CpG for glioblastoma local chemo-immunotherapy elicits an immune response and induces long-term survival, Biomaterials, (2023) 122006.
2. Malfanti A, Catania G, Degros Q, Wang M, Bausart M, Préat V. Design of Bio-Responsive Hyaluronic Acid-Doxorubicin Conjugates for the Local Treatment of Glioblastoma, Pharmaceutics, 2022, 14, 124.
3. Bausart, M., Rodella, G., Dumont, M., Ucakar, B., Vanvarenberg, K., Malfanti, A., Préat, V. Combination of local immunogenic cell death-inducing chemotherapy and DNA vaccine increases the survival of glioblastoma-bearing mice (2023) Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 50, art. no. 102681. DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2023.102681
4. Malfanti, A., Bausart, M., Vanvarenberg, K., Ucakar, B., Préat, V. Hyaluronic acid-antigens conjugates trigger potent immune response in both prophylactic and therapeutic immunization in a melanoma model (2023) Drug Delivery and Translational Research, 13 (10), pp. 2550-2567. DOI: 10.1007/s13346-023-01337-4
5. Marotti, V., Xu, Y., Bohns Michalowski, C., Zhang, W., Domingues, I., Ameraoui, H., Moreels, T.G., Baatsen, P., Van Hul, M., Muccioli, G.G., Cani, P.D., Alhouayek, M., Malfanti, A., Beloqui, A. A nanoparticle platform for combined mucosal healing and immunomodulation in inflammatory bowel disease treatment (2024) Bioactive Materials, 32, pp. 206-221. DOI: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2023.09.014

Research Area

Alessio Malfanti’s research interests are at the interface among polymer chemistry, nanomedicine, and biology covering unmet clinical needs.

Recently, he focused his work on the development of novel drug delivery strategies for the treatment of Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults; more than two-thirds of GBM patients succumb to this disease within two years of diagnosis.

In this context, his research aims to:

1) Design nanomedicines for the local treatment of GBM: Localized delivery with convection-enhanced delivery (CED, intracranial injection) or filling the resection cavity with implants (e.g., Gliadel) represents an appealing approach to overcome the limits associated with GBM such as the presence of the blood-brain barrier, which excludes most of therapeutics. The development of novel nanomedicines based on biodegradable polymeric conjugates (e.g., hyaluronic acid, polypeptides), the use of combination chemo-immunotherapies, and the design of implants (e.g., hydrogels, pastes, gums) for inoperable and post-resection GBM represent approaches he follows to achieve effective treatment options.

2) Development of therapeutic vaccines: Patients with GBM do not respond to vaccination due to a) immunosuppressive tumor immune microenvironment, b) low mutational burden, and c) standard of care destroying the systemic immune system. Coupling GBM antigens with polymeric nanocarriers will activate a broad immune response resulting in an effective GBM vaccine that potentially overcomes the restrictions associated with vaccination.

3) Targeting brain metastasis: Tumors such as melanoma and breast cancer are likely to metastasize in the brain. The design of tailored drug delivery strategies is the state-of-the-art of Alessio Malfanti's research aiming to 1) reduce the colonization of cancer cells in the brain and treat the brain metastasis.