Covalent nano delivery systems for selective imaging and treatment of brain tumors☆

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Nanomedicine is a rapidly evolving form of therapy that holds a great promise for superior drug delivery efficiency and therapeutic efficacy than conventional cancer treatment. In this review, we attempt to cover the benefits and the limitations of current nanomedicines with special attention to covalent nano conjugates for imaging and drug delivery in the brain. The improvement in brain tumor treatment remains dismal despite decades of efforts in drug development and patient care. One of the major obstacles in brain cancer treatment is the poor drug delivery efficiency owing to the unique blood-brain barrier (BBB) in the CNS. Although various anti-cancer agents are available to treat tumors outside of the CNS, the majority fails to cross the BBB. In this regard, nanomedicines have increasingly drawn attention due to their multi-functionality and versatility. Nano drugs can penetrate BBB and other biological barriers, and selectively accumulate in tumor cells, while concurrently decreasing systemic toxicity.

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