Nanoparticle Strategies to Improve the Delivery of Anticancer Drugs across the Blood–Brain Barrier to Treat Brain Tumors
Primary brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors are a diverse group of neoplasms that occur within the brain and spinal cord. Although significant advances in our understanding of the intricate biological underpinnings of CNS neoplasm tumorigenesis and progression have been made, the translation of these discoveries into effective therapies has been stymied by the unique challenges presented by these tumors’ exquisitely sensitive location and the body’s own defense mechanisms (e.g., the brain–CSF barrier and blood–brain barrier), which normally protect the CNS from toxic insult. These barriers effectively prevent the delivery of therapeutics to the site of disease. To overcome these obstacles, new methods for therapeutic delivery are being developed, with one such approach being the utilization of nanoparticles. Here, we will cover the current state of the field with a particular focus on the challenges posed by the BBB, the different nanoparticle classes which are under development for targeted CNS tumor therapeutics delivery, and strategies which have been developed to bypass the BBB and enable effective therapeutics delivery to the site of disease.