Interstitial chemotherapy plays a pivotal role in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of primary brain cancer, by enhancing drug biodistribution to the tumor and avoiding systemic toxicities. The use of new polymer structures that extend the release of cytotoxic agents may therefore increase survival and prevent recurrence. A novel core-sheath fiber loaded with the drug carmustine (BCNU) was evaluated in an in vivo brain tumor model. Three-dimensional discs were formed from coaxially electrospun fiber membranes and in vitro BCNU release kinetics were measured. In vivo survival was assessed following implantation of discs made of compressed core-sheath fibers (NanoMesh) either concurrently with or five days after intracranial implantation of 9L gliosarcoma. Co-implantation of NanoMesh and 9L gliosarcoma resulted in statistically significant long-term survival (>150 days). Empty control NanoMesh confirmed the safety of these novel implants. Similarly, Day 5 studies showed significant median, overall, and long-term survival rates, suggesting optimal control of tumor growth, confirmed with histological and immunohistochemical analyses. Local chemotherapy by means of biodegradable NanoMesh implants is a new treatment paradigm for the treatment for brain tumors. Drug delivery with coaxial core-sheath structures benefits from high drug loading, controlled long-term release kinetics, and slow polymer degradation. This represents a promising evolution for the current treatment of GBM.
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