Biomarkers and smart intracranial devices for the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of high-grade gliomas: a review of the literature and future prospects Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain neoplasm with median overall survival (OS) around 15 months. There is a dearth of effective monitoring strategies for patients with high-grade gliomas. Relying on magnetic resonance images of brain has its challenges, and repeated brain biopsies add significant morbidity. Hence, it is imperative to establish a less invasive way to diagnose, monitor, and guide management of patients with high-grade gliomas. Currently, multiple biomarkers are in various phases of development and include tissue, serum, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and imaging biomarkers. Here we review and summarize the potential biomarkers found in blood and CSF, including extracellular macromolecules, extracellular vesicles, circulating tumor cells, immune cells, endothelial cells, and endothelial progenitor cells. The ability to detect tumor-specific biomarkers in blood and CSF will potentially not only reduce the need for repeated brain biopsies but also provide valuable information about the heterogeneity of tumor, response to current treatment, and identify disease resistance. This review also details the status and potential scope of brain tumor-related cranial devices and implants including Ommaya reservoir, microelectromechanical systems-based depot device, Alzet mini-osmotic pump, Metronomic Biofeedback Pump (MBP), ipsum G1 implant, ultra-thin needle implant, and putative devices. An ideal smart cranial implant will overcome the blood-brain barrier, deliver various drugs, provide access to brain tissue, and potentially measure and monitor levels of various biomarkers.

publication date

  • 2019