Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor. Even with aggressive treatment including surgical resection, radiation, and chemotherapy, patient outcomes remain poor, with five-year survival rates at only 10%. Barriers to treatment include inefficient drug delivery across the blood brain barrier and development of drug resistance. Because gliomas occur due to sequential acquisition of genetic alterations, gene therapy represents a promising alternative to overcome limitations of conventional therapy. Gene or nucleic acid carriers must be used to deliver these therapies successfully into tumor tissue and have been extensively studied. Viral vectors have been evaluated in clinical trials for glioblastoma gene therapy but have not achieved FDA approval due to issues with viral delivery, inefficient tumor penetration, and limited efficacy. Non-viral vectors have been explored for delivery of glioma gene therapy and have shown promise as gene vectors for glioma treatment in preclinical studies and a few non-polymeric vectors have entered clinical trials. In this review, delivery systems including viral, non-polymeric, and polymeric vectors that have been used in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) gene therapy are discussed. Additionally, advances in glioblastoma gene therapy using viral and non-polymeric vectors in clinical trials and emerging polymeric vectors for glioma gene therapy are discussed.
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