Drug delivery to brain tumors: physiological and pharmacokinetic aspects of chemotherapy

  • Ronald G. Blasberg
  • Dennis R. Groothuis
  • Donald C. Wright
  • Peter Molnar


It is generally recognized that the benefits from chemotherapy of brain tumors has progressed slowly in comparison to the treatment of many systemic tumors (1). Successful treatment has been limited despite 30 years of drug trials during which various drugs, drug combinations, dosage regi-mens and routes of administration have been stud-ied. Common explanations given for chemothera-peutic failure include tumor insensitivity to a particular drug or combination of drugs, and too narrow a range of drug dosage between tumor cell killing and systemic toxicity. Implicit in phrases such as ‘tumor sensitivity’ and ‘systemic toxicity’ is the exposure of tumor cells and systemic tissues to different concentrations of the administered drug over time. The exposure of various organs and tissues to a chemotherapeutic drug is likely to be different and could contribute to selective toxicity. Similarity, different tumors as well as different re-gions within a single tumor are likely to be exposed to a wide range of drug concentrations (2–4). The question then becomes whether differential tissue-drug exposure contributes in any significant way to tumor response and systemic toxicity or whether the differential sensitivities of tumor and systemic tissues are all due to inherent differences (gene expression) of the tissues themselves.


Brain Tumor Plasma Clearance Capillary Permeability Experimental Tumor Human Brain Tumor 
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Copyright information

© Martinas Nijhoff Publishers, Boston 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald G. Blasberg
    • 1
  • Dennis R. Groothuis
    • 2
  • Donald C. Wright
    • 3
  • Peter Molnar
    • 4
  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine DepartmentNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyNorthwestern University, Evanston HospitalEvanstonUSA
  3. 3.Clinical Neurosurgery SectionSNB, NINCDS, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyUniversity Medical School of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

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