Targeted brain delivery nanoparticles for malignant gliomas

Mauricio P. Pinto, Maximiliano Arce, Basit Yameen, Cristian Vilos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Brain tumors display the highest mortality rates of all childhood cancers, and over the last decade its prevalence has steadily increased in elderly. To date, effective treatments for brain tumors and particularly for malignant gliomas remain a challenge mainly due to the low permeability and high selectivity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to conventional anticancer drugs. In recent years, the elucidation of the cellular mechanisms involved in the transport of substances into the brain has boosted the development of therapeutic-targeted nanoparticles (NPs) with the ability to cross the BBB. Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the available therapeutic strategies developed against malignant gliomas based on 'actively targeted' NPs, the challenges of crossing the BBB and blood-brain tumor barrier as well as its mechanisms and a critical assessment of clinical studies that have used targeted NPs for the treatment of malignant gliomas. Finally, we discuss the potential of actively targeted NP-based strategies in clinical settings, its possible side effects and future directions for therapeutic applications. First draft submitted: 4 October 2016; Accepted for publication: 14 October 2016; Published online: 23 November 201.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • blood-brain barrier
  • blood-brain tumor barrier
  • drug delivery
  • gliomas
  • malignant gliomas
  • nanomedicine
  • targeted nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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