Targeting nanomedicine to brain tumors is hampered by the heterogeneity of brain tumors and the blood brain barrier. These represent the main reasons of unsuccessful treatments. Nanomedicine based approaches hold promise for improved brain tissue distribution of drugs and delivery of combination therapies. In this review, we describe the recent advancements and latest achievements in the use of nanocarriers, virus and cell-derived nanoparticles for targeted therapy of brain tumors. We provide successful examples of nanomedicine based approaches for direct targeting of receptors expressed in brain tumor cells or modulation of pathways involved in cell survival as well as approaches for indirect targeting of cells in the tumor stroma and immunotherapies. Although the field is at its infancy, clinical trials involving nanomedicine based approaches for brain tumors are ongoing and many others will start in the near future.