Malignant gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors in adults up to an extent of 78% of all primary malignant brain tumors. The efficacy of current multimodal therapeutic strategies in gliomas is limited by the lack of specific therapies against malignant cells, and the prognosis in patients affected by primary brain tumors is still very unfavorable. Late diagnosis and the limitation of conventional therapies, which may result from inefficient delivery of the therapeutic or contrast agent to brain tumors are major reasons for this unsolved clinical problem. The difficult in overcoming the blood-brain barrier is the biggest obstacle for chemotherapeutics, which cannot reach the tumor bed as efficacious doses. The advent of nanotechnology could revolutionized the approach to that. Nanotechnology in biomedical research has quickly found its own niche in clinical methodologies including imaging, diagnostic, and therapeutics. Nanoparticles are versatile, thanks to their particular chemical configuration, and are able to go through the blood-brain barrier carrying drugs or genes targeted against brain tumors. Nanoparticle systems provide prolonged drug delivery directly to the tumor following direct intracerebral injection or by functionalizing the material surface with peptides and ligands allowing the drug-loaded material to be specifically target the tumor cells. In this chapter we describe the principal applications of nanomedicine in brain tumor treatment. Finally, we will report various preclinical and/or clinical studies in brain tumor treatment.
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