Blood-brain barrier and chemotherapeutic treatment of brain tumors

Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 Aug;6(8):1199-209. doi: 10.1586/14737175.6.8.1199.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is of pivotal importance to maintain homeostasis of the CNS, as it closely regulates the composition of the interstitial fluid in the brain. Unfortunately, malignancies that grow within the CNS may evade chemotherapeutic drugs using the same barrier, making this disease refractory to most chemotherapy regimens. This review will outline the impact of the BBB in brain cancer and discuss the efforts that have been made to enhance the drug exposure of brain tumors. Although this review will focus on the role of the BBB in primary brain cancer (malignant glioma), its impact on brain metastases will also be briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraventricular


  • Antineoplastic Agents