Convection-enhanced delivery of camptothecin-loaded polymer nanoparticles for treatment of intracranial tumors

Andrew J. Sawyer, Jennifer K. Saucier-Sawyer, Carmen J. Booth, Jie Liu, Toral Patel, Joseph M. Piepmeier, W. Mark Saltzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Direct delivery of chemotherapy agents to the brain via degradable polymer delivery systems-such as Gliadel®-is a clinically proven method for treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, but there are important limitations with the current technology-including the requirement for surgery, profound local tissue toxicity, and limitations in diffusional penetration of agents-that limit its application and effectiveness. Here, we demonstrate another technique for direct, controlled delivery of chemotherapy to the brain that provides therapeutic benefit with fewer limitations. In our new approach, camptothecin (CPT)-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles are infused via convection-enhanced delivery (CED) to a stereotactically defined location in the brain, allowing simultaneous control of location, spread, and duration of drug release. To test this approach, CPT-PLGA nanoparticles (~100 nm in diameter) were synthesized with 25% drug loading. When these nanoparticles were incubated in culture with 9L gliosarcoma cells, the IC50 of CPT-PLGA nanoparticles was 0. 04 μM, compared to 0. 3 μM for CPT alone. CPT-PLGA nanoparticles stereotactically delivered by CED improved survival in rats with intracranial 9L tumors: the median survival for rats treated with CPT-PLGA nanoparticles (22 days) was significantly longer than unloaded nanoparticles (15 days) and free CPT infusion (17 days). CPT-PLGA nanoparticle treatment also produced significantly more long-term survivors (30% of animals were free of disease at 60 days) than any other treatment. CPT was present in tissues harvested up to 53 days post-infusion, indicating prolonged residence at the local site of administration. These are the first results to demonstrate the effectiveness of combining polymer-controlled release nanoparticles with CED in treating fatal intracranial tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Camptothecin
  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery
  • Glioma
  • Polymer nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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