Delivery of Taxanes: Strategies to Develop Efficient Systems Against Brain Cancers

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Abstract:

Gliomas and their metastatic spread to the central nervous system are very challenging diseases. Despite vigorous basic and clinical studies over several decades, the median survival of these patients remains very poor. Standard therapies are surgery plus radiation, implants releasing carmustine, and adjuvant temozolomide, but various new agents are currently under study. This review focuses on a particular class of agents, taxanes, which have significant activity against a variety of tumors, but not against brain cancers. The clinical failure of taxanes may chiefly be attributed to the lack of appropriate drug-delivery systems. Several technologies have been proposed to increase both potency and selectivity, and highly-invasive strategies, such as convectionenhanced diffusion, and intrathecal/intraventricular drug administration, are now available. However, research aims to find lower-risk intravascular drug delivery systems. To gain effective results on CNS cancers, one of the main hindrances is the presence of the blood–brain barrier. This challenges effective intravascular transport and selected drug delivery systems, and demands the adoption of complementary strategies that promote efficient transport through this barrier. Among the various strategies that have been explored, nanovectors (e.g., liposome, micelles, nanoparticles, macromolecular conjugates) may enable the different components to be efficiently assembled. After years of work, some candidates now appear to be emerging that may be relevant in clinical trials. The present review summarizes the most significant approaches, presents emerging research, and highlights directions for further developments in the delivery of taxanes to brain neoplasms.

Keywords: DOCETAXEL; DRUG DELIVERY; DRUG TARGETING; GLIOMAS; METASTATIC BRAIN CANCER; PACLITAXEL

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jns.2012.1014

Publication date: April 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Recent advances in nanomaterials indicates that the central nervous system (CNS) is susceptible to nanoparticle induced alterations leading to functional or structural alterations. This knowledge is currently disseminated in vast array of journals dealing with broad subject areas related to pharmacology, toxicology, neuroscience or nanosciences. Thus, there is an urgent need to collect all these diverse information related to nanoscience and brain function in one place using Journal of Nanoneuroscience for the benefit of the scientific community, researchers, health planners, health care providers, policy makers, environmentalists, biologists, chemists, and physicist in this emerging area of medical science.
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