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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2015, Article ID 405735, 15 pages
Review Article

Reassessing the Role of Intra-Arterial Drug Delivery for Glioblastoma Multiforme Treatment

1Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA
2Department of Molecular Cardiology, Texas Heart Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
4Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA

Received 6 September 2015; Accepted 16 November 2015

Academic Editor: S. P. Vyas

Copyright © 2015 Jason A. Ellis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Effective treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) will likely require targeted delivery of several specific pharmacological agents simultaneously. Intra-arterial (IA) delivery is one technique for targeting the tumor site with multiple agents. Although IA chemotherapy for glioblastoma (GBM) has been attempted since the 1950s, the predicted benefits remain unproven in clinical practice. This review focuses on innovative approaches to IA drug delivery in treating GBM. Guided by novel in vitro and in vivo optical measurements, newer pharmacokinetic models promise to better define the complex relationship between background cerebral blood flow and drug injection parameters. Advanced optical technologies and tracers, unique nanoparticles designs, new cellular targets, and rational drug formulations are continuously modifying the therapeutic landscape for GBM. Personalized treatment approaches are emerging; however, such tailored approaches will largely depend on effective drug delivery techniques and on the ability to simultaneously deliver multidrug regimens. These new paradigms for tumor-selective drug delivery herald dramatic improvements in the effectiveness of IA chemotherapy for GBM. Therefore, within this context of so-called “precision medicine,” the role of IA delivery for GBM is thoroughly reassessed.