Strategies to improve delivery of anticancer drugs across the blood-brain barrier to treat glioblastoma

Rajneet K. Oberoi, Karen E. Parrish, Terence T. Sio, Rajendar K. Mittapalli, William F. Elmquist, Jann N. Sarkaria

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Glioblastoma (GBM) is a lethal and aggressive brain tumor that is resistant to conventional radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapies. Molecularly targeted agents hold great promise in treating these genetically heterogeneous tumors, yet have produced disappointing results. One reason for the clinical failure of these novel therapies can be the inability of the drugs to achieve effective concentrations in the invasive regions beyond the bulk tumor. In this review, we describe the influence of the blood-brain barrier on the distribution of anticancer drugs to both the tumor core and infiltrative regions of GBM. We further describe potential strategies to overcome these drug delivery limitations. Understanding the key factors that limit drug delivery into brain tumors will guide future development of approaches for enhanced delivery of effective drugs to GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology.


  • blood-brain barrier
  • drug delivery
  • efflux transporters
  • glioma


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