Delivery strategies for cell-based therapies in the brain: overcoming multiple barriers


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Cell-based therapies to the brain are promising for the treatment of multiple brain disorders including neurodegeneration and cancers. In order to access the brain parenchyma, there are multiple physiological barriers that must be overcome depending on the route of delivery. Specifically, the blood–brain barrier has been a major difficulty in drug delivery for decades, and it still presents a challenge for the delivery of therapeutic cells. Other barriers, including the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier and lymphatic-brain barrier, are less explored, but may offer specific challenges or opportunities for therapeutic delivery. Here we discuss the barriers to the brain and the strategies currently in place to deliver cell-based therapies, including engineered T cells, dendritic cells, and stem cells, to treat diseases. With a particular focus on cancers, we also highlight the current ongoing clinical trials that use cell-based therapies to treat disease, many of which show promise at treating some of the deadliest illnesses. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].



Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Instruments & Instrumentation, Medicine, Research & Experimental, Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Research & Experimental Medicine, Brain, Cancer, T cells, Drug delivery, Blood-brain barrier, Neural stem cells, CONVECTION-ENHANCED DELIVERY, RECEPTOR T-CELLS, DENDRITIC CELLS, FOCUSED ULTRASOUND, SIPULEUCEL-T, MALIGNANT GLIOMA, DRUG-DELIVERY, NK-92 CELLS, STEM, TUMORS, 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences