, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 123-127

Image-guided convection-enhanced delivery platform in the treatment of neurological diseases


Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of substances within the human brain is becoming a more frequent experimental treatment option in the management of brain tumors, and more recently in phase 1 trials for gene therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Benefits of this intracranial drug-transfer technology include a more efficient delivery of large volumes of therapeutic agent to the target region when compared with more standard delivery approaches (i.e., biopolymers, local infusion). In this article, we describe specific technical modifications we have made to the CED process to make it more effective. For example, we developed a reflux-resistant infusion cannula that allows increased infusion rates to be used. We also describe our efforts to visualize the CED process in vivo, using liposomal nanotechnology and real-time intraoperative MRI. In addition to carrying the MRI contrast agent, nanoliposomes also provide a standardized delivery vehicle for the convection of drugs to a specific brain-tissue volume. This technology provides an added level of assurance via visual confirmation of CED, allowing intraoperative alterations to the infusion if there is reflux or aberrant delivery. We propose that these specific modifications to the CED technology will improve efficacy by documenting and standardizing the treatment-volume delivery. Furthermore, we believe that this image-guided CED platform can be used in other translational neuroscience efforts, with eventual clinical application beyond neuro-oncology and PD.