Approximately 15–40% of all cancers develop metastases in the central nervous system (CNS), yet few therapeutic options exist to treat them. Cancer therapies based on monoclonal antibodies are widely successful, yet have limited efficacy against CNS metastases, owing to the low levels of the drug reaching the tumour site. Here, we show that the encapsulation of rituximab within a crosslinked zwitterionic polymer layer leads to the sustained release of rituximab as the crosslinkers are gradually hydrolysed, enhancing the CNS levels of the antibody by approximately tenfold with respect to the administration of naked rituximab. When the nanocapsules were functionalized with CXCL13—the ligand for the chemokine receptor CXCR5, which is frequently found on B-cell lymphoma—a single dose led to improved control of CXCR5-expressing metastases in a murine xenograft model of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and eliminated lymphoma in a xenografted humanized bone marrow–liver–thymus mouse model. Encapsulation and molecular targeting of therapeutic antibodies could become an option for the treatment of cancers with CNS metastases.