Introduction: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most prevalent primary neoplasm of the brain. Moreover, the prognosis of patients with GBM has been poor, with almost uniform progressive neurological impairment and rapid death. Despite the availability of multimodal treatments through surgery, focal radiation, and chemotherapy, no major progress has been reported until recently. Area covered: The development of interstitial biodegradable carmustine wafers (Gliadel) for treating selected patients with malignant gliomas has resulted in marginal survival benefits in such patients (only approximately 2 months longer than that of those who did not receive the treatment). Therefore, this study summarizes several recent representative studies, presents emerging studies, and highlights the directions for additional developments in this area. An overview of the current knowledge of preclinical developments, efficacy and safety observed in clinical trials and practice following drug approval, and future avenues of research is imperative. Expert opinion: Studies are being conducted to improve the efficacy of interstitial chemotherapy by using nanobiotechnology and polymeric material science in addition to different chemotherapeutic, antiangiogenesic, and gene therapy agents and growth factors. Nanocarrier-based noninvasive techniques may have considerable potential to enhance the efficacy of GBM treatment.
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