Therapeutic effects of local delivery of dexamethasone on experimental brain tumors and peritumoral brain edema

Y. Ikeda, B. S. Carson, J. A. Lauer, D. M. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To determine if dexamethasone administered by osmotic pump directly to brain tumors would control peritumoral edema and at the same time suppress tumor growth and prolong survival, the authors studied experimental brain tumors produced in 102 rabbits by implanting VX2 carcinoma cells. Of these, 58 animals were separated into three treatment groups: Group 1 included 15 untreated rabbits; Group 2 included 18 rabbits treated with systemic dexamethasone (4 mg/kg/day); and Group 3 included 25 rabbits treated with local dexamethasone (0.24 mg/day) delivered by osmotic pump. Systemic or local dexamethasone was administered from Day 3 or Day 7 after tumor implantation, and animals were sacrificed on Day 13. A survival study was performed with 44 rabbits separated into the same treatment groups, beginning drug delivery on Day 7. Brain water content in the white matter of sacrificed animals was measured by the specific gravity method. The length and width of the brain tumors in all animals were measured and the tumor volume estimated. Findings showed that systemic and local dexamethasone administered form Day 3 or Day 7 was associated with a significant (5% level) inhibition of tumor volume as well as a mean reduction of brain edema in most tested sites. Systemic and local dexamethasone therapy also resulted in a significant (5% level) increase in survival time relative to the untreated group. These short-term results suggest that locally delivered dexamethasone may constitute a clinically important therapeutic modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-721
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • brain neoplasm
  • carcinoma
  • dexamethasone
  • drug delivery
  • edema
  • osmotic pump
  • rabbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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