A method and devices for localized delivery of a chemotherapeutic agent to solid tumors, wherein the agent does not cross the blood-brain barrier and is characterized by poor bioavailability and/or short half-lives in vivo, are described. The devices consist of reservoirs which release drug over an extended time period while at the same time preserving the bioactivity and bioavailability of the agent. In the most preferred embodiment, the device consists of biodegradable polymeric matrixes, although reservoirs can also be formulated from non-biodegradable polymers or reservoirs connected to implanted infusion pumps. The devices are implanted within or immediately adjacent the tumors to be treated or the site where they have been surgically removed. The examples demonstrate the efficacy of paclitaxel and camptothecin delivered in polymeric implants prepared by compression molding of biodegradable and non-biodegradable polymers, respectively. The results are highly statistically significant.