Status quo and trends of intra-arterial therapy for brain tumors: A bibliometric and clinical trials analysis

Julian S. Rechberger, Frederic Thiele, David J. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Intra-arterial drug delivery circumvents the first-pass effect and is believed to increase both efficacy and tolerability of primary and metastatic brain tumor therapy. The aim of this update is to report on pertinent articles and clinical trials to better understand the research landscape to date and future directions. Elsevier’s Scopus and databases were reviewed in August 2021 for all possible articles and clinical trials of intra-arterial drug injection as a treatment strategy for brain tumors. Entries were screened against predefined selection criteria and various parameters were summarized. Twenty clinical trials and 271 articles satisfied all inclusion criteria. In terms of articles, 201 (74%) were primarily clinical and 70 (26%) were basic science, published in a total of 120 different journals. Median values were: publication year, 1986 (range, 1962–2021); citation count, 15 (range, 0–607); number of authors, 5 (range, 1–18). Pertaining to clinical trials, 9 (45%) were phase 1 trials, with median expected start and completion years in 2011 (range, 1998–2019) and 2022 (range, 2008–2025), respectively. Only one (5%) trial has reported results to date. Glioma was the most common tumor indication reported in both articles (68%) and trials (75%). There were 215 (79%) articles investigating chemotherapy, while 13 (65%) trials evaluated targeted therapy. Transient blood–brain barrier disruption was the commonest strategy for articles (27%) and trials (60%) to optimize intra-arterial therapy. Articles and trials predominately originated in the United States (50% and 90%, respectively). In this bibliometric and clinical trials analysis, we discuss the current state and trends of intra-arterial therapy for brain tumors. Most articles were clinical, and traditional anti-cancer agents and drug delivery strategies were commonly studied. This was reflected in clinical trials, of which only a single study had reported outcomes. We anticipate future efforts to involve novel therapeutic and procedural strategies based on recent advances in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1885
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Brain tumor
  • Chemotherapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Glioma
  • Immunotherapy
  • Injection
  • Intra-arterial
  • Nanoparticles
  • Targeted therapy
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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