Despite multimodal treatment including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, the disease inevitably recurs and is fatal. This lack of curative options has motivated researchers to explore new treatment strategies and to develop new drug delivery systems (DDSs); however, the unique anatomical, physiological, and pathological features of brain tumors greatly limit the effectiveness of conventional chemotherapy. In this context, we review the recent progress in the development of nanoparticle-based DDSs aiming to address the key challenges in transporting sufficient amount of therapeutic agents into the brain tumor areas while minimizing the potential side effects. We first provide an overview of the standard treatments currently used in the clinic for the management of brain cancers, discussing the effectiveness and limitations of each therapy. We then provide an in-depth review of nanotherapeutic systems that are intended to bypass the blood–brain barrier, overcome multidrug resistance, infiltrate larger tumorous tissue areas, and/or release therapeutic agents in a controlled manner.
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