Drug delivery strategies for the treatment of malignant gliomas

Int J Pharm. 2012 Oct 15;436(1-2):299-310. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.06.025. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


As primary brain tumors, malignant gliomas are known to be one of the most insidious types of brain cancer afflicting the humans. The current standard strategy for the treatment of malignant gliomas includes the surgical resection of the tumor when possible, followed by a combination of radiotherapy and/or a certain chemotherapeutic protocol. However, due to the short mean survival, frequent recurrences, and poor prognosis associated with the tumors, new therapeutic strategies are investigated consecutively. These novel drug delivery approaches can be subdivided as systemic and local drug administration. This review focuses on localized drug delivery strategies for the treatment of malignant gliomas, including the injections, infusions, trans-nasal delivery systems, convection enhanced delivery (CED) systems, and various types of polymeric implants. Furthermore, systemic strategies to increase the drug penetration into the brain, such as temporary disruption of the blood brain barrier (BBB), chemical modification of the available therapeutic substances, and utilization of endogenous transport systems will be briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Antineoplastic Agents