Overcoming the Barriers of the Central Nervous System: Novel Methods of Drug Delivery to Brain Cancer (pp. 1-21)
Authors: Adam M. Schmitt and Maciej S. Lesniak (The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL)
Abstract: Most antitumor drugs are excluded from the brain by a series of physiological barrier between the blood and the central nervous system (CNS) microenvironment. These barriers arise from unique properties of CNS blood vessel endothelial cells and specialized epithelial cells. Both of the cell types utilize tight junctions to prevent bulk flow of blood-born products into the brain. Overcoming the limitations imposed by the blood-brain barrier is critical to achieving therapeutic concentrations of drugs in the CNS, and has been the focus of intense research. This chapter discusses past, present, and future approaches to manipulating the blood-brain barriers and reviews the most effective ways of delivering drugs in order to improve the outcome of patients with malignant brain tumors.