The most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, unfortunately is also one of the most deadly and difficult to treat. The statistics are stark: It kills about 95 percent of its victims within five years of diagnosis.
Surgery and radiation have only limited effectiveness because glioblastoma is particularly aggressive, infiltrating brain tissue surrounding the primary tumor. The use of chemotherapy to destroy the invasive tendrils is equally ineffective. The blood–brain barrier — a coating of special cells around capillaries in the brain — keeps everything but a handful of necessary nutrients from crossing to the brain’s extracellular fluid from the blood.