Objective: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans. The only interstitial chemotherapy pharmaceutical approved to date for GBM treatment is the Gliadel® wafer. Despite the safety and efficacy of this approach that have been demonstrated in patients undergoing resection of both newly diagnosed and recurrent malignant gliomas, the wafer provides an effective release of the anticancer 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) for only 5 days. Methods: In this study, the authors developed biodegradable poly[(d,l)-lactide-co- glycolide] nanofibrous membranes via electrospinning that provided a sustained release of BCNU. An elution method and a HPLC assay were employed to characterize the in vitro and in vivo release behaviors of pharmaceuticals from the electrospun membranes. Results: The experimental results show that the biodegradable, nanofibrous membranes released high concentrations of BCNU for more than 6 weeks in the cerebral cavity of rats. Furthermore, the membranes can better conform to the geometry of the brain tissue and can cover more completely the tissue after the removal of tumors, achieving better drug transport without interfering with the normal function of the brain. Histological examination showed no obvious inflammation reactions of the brain tissues. Conclusion: Adopting the electrospinning technique will help in manufacturing biodegradable, nanofibrous membranes for the long-term deliveries of various anticancer drugs in the cerebral cavity, which will further enhance the therapeutic efficacy of GBM treatment.
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