Background: This review elucidates ongoing research, which show improved delivery
of anticancer drugs alone and/ or enclosed in carriers collectively called nanomedicines to cross
the BBB/ BTB to kill tumor cells and impact patient survival. We highlighted various advances
in understanding the mechanism of BTB function that has an impact on anticancer therapeutics
delivery. We discussed latest breakthroughs in developing pharmaceutical strategies, including
nanomedicines and delivering them across BTB for brain tumor management and treatment.
Methods: We performed an extensive literature search and highlighted important studies on the
regulation of BTB permeability with respect to nanotech-based nanomedicines for targeted treatment
of brain tumors. We have reviewed research articles that describe the development of specialized
molecules and nanospheres, which carry payload of anticancer agents to brain tumor cells
across the BBB/ BTB and avoid drug efflux systems. We highlighted research on the identification
and development of targeted anti-cancer drug delivery to brain tumors. In addition, we discussed
multimeric molecular therapeutics and nanomedicines that were encapsulated in nanospheres for
treatment and monitoring of brain tumors.
Results: In this context, we quoted our research on large conductance calcium-activated potassium
channels (BKCa) and ATP-dependent potassium channels (KATP) as portals of enhanced antineoplastic
drugs delivery. We showed that several innovative drug delivery agents such as liposomes,
polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers and many such tools can be utilized to improve anticancer
drugs and nanomedicines across the BTB to reach brain tumor cells.
Conclusion: This review might interest both academic and drug company scientists involved in
drug delivery to brain tumors. We further seek to present evidence that BTB modulators can be
clinically developed as combination drug or/ and as stand-alone anticancer drugs. Eventually, it is
expected that unrelenting effort from the scientific community in developing novel drug delivery
methods should increase the survival rate of brain tumor patients, which is dismally low presently.