Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) and malignant ascites (MA), which are common but serious conditions caused by malignancies, are related to poor quality of life and high mortality. Current treatments, including therapeutic thoracentesis and indwelling pleural catheters or paracentesis and catheter drainage, are largely palliative. An effective treatment is urgently needed. MPE and MA are excellent candidates for intratumoural injections that have direct contact with tumour cells and kill tumour cells more effectively and efficiently with fewer side effects, and the fluid environment of MPE and MA can provide a homogeneous area for drug distribution. The immunosuppressive environments within the pleural and peritoneal cavities suggest the feasibility of local immunotherapy. In this review, we introduce the current management of MPE and MA, discuss the latest advances and challenges in utilizing local biomaterial-assisted antitumour therapies for the treatment of MPE and MA, and discuss further opportunities in this field.