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Is There a Therapeutic Role for Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption?

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Grant support: by the Southwestern Medical Foundation; The Blanche Mary Taxis Foundation; The Veterans Administration; the National Cancer Institute, U. S. Public Health Service (grants CA 23115, CA 18132, and CA 27191); and the Ira Kassanoff Fund.


Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(1_Part_1):137-139. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-1-137
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Several types of disseminated systemic malignancies managed with chemotherapy have shown significant complete response rates even when the tumor is found in multiple metastatic sites. Brain metastases from these same responsive neoplasms have, however, responded poorly to chemotherapy (1). Primary brain tumors have not been significantly affected by chemotherapy. Does the blood-brain barrier account for these differences?

The blood-brain barrier, created by tight junctions between endothelial cells in brain capillaries (2), has been considered irrelevant to treatment of brain tumors (3) because their vessels have a fenestrated and discontinuous endothelium characteristic of the vessels of the primary tumor (4). Recent

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