Convection-enhanced Delivery in Glioblastoma: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies

J Neurosurg. 2017 Jan;126(1):191-200. doi: 10.3171/2016.1.JNS151591. Epub 2016 Apr 1.


Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor, and it carries an extremely poor prognosis. Attempts to develop targeted therapies have been hindered because the blood-brain barrier prevents many drugs from reaching tumors cells. Furthermore, systemic toxicity of drugs often limits their therapeutic potential. A number of alternative methods of delivery have been developed, one of which is convection-enhanced delivery (CED), the focus of this review. The authors describe CED as a therapeutic measure and review preclinical studies and the most prominent clinical trials of CED in the treatment of glioblastoma. The utilization of this technique for the delivery of a variety of agents is covered, and its shortcomings and challenges are discussed in detail.

Keywords: BBB = blood-brain barrier; CED = convection-enhanced delivery; GDL = gadoteridol-loaded liposomes; HSV-TK = herpes simplex virus–thymidine kinase; IL-4 = interleukin-4; OS = overall survival; PFS = progression-free survival; TF = transferrin; TMZ = temozolomide; TRAIL = tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand; blood-brain barrier; convection enhanced delivery; glioblastoma; oncology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Convection
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Humans