Chemotherapy for Advanced Brain Cancer

Most patients with advanced brain cancer have disease that has spread to nearby tissue, so systemic treatment that can kill cancer cells is necessary. Systemic treatment is called chemotherapy. There have been only a limited number of chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of brain tumors. This is because of the potential side effects of drugs entering the brain and the difficulty of getting drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier, a “wall” that protects the brain by pumping toxins out of brain tissues and into the blood stream.

In recent years, however, researchers have expanded the use of chemotherapy as a next-line approach after surgery and radiation. Several drugs have now been shown to extend patients’ lives and improve the management of brain tumors. Chemotherapies approved to treat brain cancer are as follows:

• Afinitor (Everolimus)
• Afinitor Disperz (Everolimus)
• Alymsys (Bevacizumab)
• Avastin (Bevacizumab)
• Belzutifan
• Bevacizumab
• BiCNU (Carmustine)
• Carmustine
• Carmustine Implant
• Danyelza (Naxitamab-gqgk)
• Everolimus
• Gliadel Wafer (Carmustine Implant)
• Lomustine
• Mvasi (Bevacizumab)
• Naxitamab-gqgk
• Temodar (Temozolomide)
• Temozolomide
• Welireg (Belzutifan)
• Zirabev (Bevacizumab)

Drug Combinations Used in Brain Cancer


Sometimes chemotherapy and other treatments can cause side effects. Visit our EASE page to discover helpful hints on how to deal with the possible aftermath of treatment. Chemotherapy can also be used in combination with immuno-oncology or immunotherapy.