The therapy of brain tumors has been limited by a lack of effective methods of drug delivery to the brain. Systemic administration is often associated with toxic side effects and ultimately fails to achieve therapeutic concentrations within a tumor. An attractive strategy that has gained importance in brain tumor therapy has relied on local and controlled delivery of chemotherapeutic agents by biodegradable polymers. This technique allows direct exposure of tumor cells to a therapeutic agent for a prolonged period of time and has been shown to prolong the survival of patients with malignant brain tumors. The use of polymers for local drug delivery greatly expands the spectrum of drugs available for the treatment of malignant brain tumors. This review discusses the rationale for local drug delivery, describes the development of currently available polymer-based therapeutic agents, and highlights examples of promising non-polymer based drug delivery methods for use in the treatment of malignant brain tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research