Benefits and limitations of nanomedicine treatment of brain cancers and age-dependent neurodegenerative disorders

Margarita E. Neganova, Yulia R. Aleksandrova, Olga A. Sukocheva, Sergey G. Klochkov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The treatment of central nervous system (CNS) malignancies, including brain cancers, is limited by a number of obstructions, including the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the heterogeneity and high invasiveness of tumors, the inaccessibility of tissues for early diagnosis and effective surgery, and anti-cancer drug resistance. Therapies employing nanomedicine have been shown to facilitate drug penetration across the BBB and maintain biodistribution and accumulation of therapeutic agents at the desired target site. The application of lipid-, polymer-, or metal-based nanocarriers represents an advanced drug delivery system for a growing group of anti-cancer chemicals. The nanocarrier surface is designed to contain an active ligand (cancer cell marker or antibody)-binding structure which can be modified to target specific cancer cells. Glioblastoma, ependymoma, neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, and primary CNS lymphomas were recently targeted by easily absorbed nanocarriers. The metal- (such as transferrin drug-loaded systems), polymer- (nanocapsules and nanospheres), or lipid- (such as sulfatide-containing nanoliposomes)-based nano-vehicles were loaded with apoptosis- and/or ferroptosis-stimulating agents and demonstrated promising anti-cancer effects. This review aims to discuss effective nanomedicine approaches designed to overcome the current limitations in the therapy of brain cancers and age-dependent neurodegenerative disorders. To accent current obstacles for successful CNS-based cancer therapy, we discuss nanomedicine perspectives and limitations of nanodrug use associated with the specificity of nervous tissue characteristics and the effects nanocarriers have on cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-833
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain tumors
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanocarriers
  • Nanodrugs
  • Nanomedicine
  • Neurodegenerative diseases


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