What is the role of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of chemotherapy in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey N Bruce, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert H Engelhard, III, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS  more...
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A major hindrance to the use of chemotherapeutic agents for brain tumors is the fact that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) effectively excludes many agents from the CNS. For this reason, novel methods of intracranial drug delivery are being developed to deliver higher concentrations of chemotherapeutic agents to the tumor cells while avoiding the adverse systemic effects of these medications.

Pressure-driven infusion of chemotherapeutic agents through an intracranial catheter, also known as convection-enhanced delivery (CED), has the advantage of delivering drugs along a pressure gradient rather than by simple diffusion. CED has shown promising results in animal models with agents including BCNU and topotecan. [91, 92, 93]

Initial attempts investigated the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents via an intraarterial route rather than intravenously. Unfortunately, no survival advantage was observed.

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