Chemobrain: is systemic chemotherapy neurotoxic?

  title={Chemobrain: is systemic chemotherapy neurotoxic?},
  author={Sophie Taillibert and Doroth{\'e}e Voillery and Chantal Bernard‐Marty},
  journal={Current Opinion in Oncology},
Purpose of review The existence of chemobrain has become almost universally accepted, although many details of the concept are controversial. Data about the different types of cognitive impairment and their duration are not always consistent in the literature. We still do not know which cytotoxic agents are responsible, which characteristics make patients vulnerable, and which biologic mechanisms are involved. Recent findings Through this review of the recent literature, we provide an… 
Brain damage from anticancer treatments in adults
The issue of treatment-induced brain toxicity is of clinical importance given the number of patients treated for brain tumors, including patients with brain metastases, and thenumber of patients who are at high risk for brain metastasis who could benefit from prophylactic cranial irradiation.
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  • Psychology, Biology
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To effectively determine the connection between chemotherapy and cognitive function requires neuropsychological tests based on performance, so that they can be administered repeatedly at specified times during the entire course of treatment and beyond.
Why, After Chemotherapy, is it Necessary to Assess Memory Using Translational Testing?
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  • Biology, Medicine
    Breast cancer : basic and clinical research
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There is an overwhelming need in the field to understand whether the water maze is an adequate model for post-chemotherapy impairments or whether other paradigms should be used.
[What's new concerning the chemobrain?].
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While 5-FU can negatively affect cell proliferation and hippocampal dependent memory, these deficits can be reversed by co- administration of fluoxetine, based on recent evidence that fluoxETine can increase neurogenesis and protect neurons after damage.
Challenges and limitations of neurocognitive studies in cancer patients
Findings support the existence of the “chemobrain” phenomenon beyond the patients’ subjective reports and call for further research of high methodological quality to delineate the temporal and spatial pattern of chemotherapyassociated central nervous system (CNS) toxicity.


Evaluation of cognitive function associated with chemotherapy: a review of published studies and recommendations for future research.
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There is no consistency in defining cognitive impairment, in the NP batteries used, or in statistical methods in studies of cognitive function of cancer patients, and guidelines are suggested to define criteria for cognitive impairment.
Adriamycin‐mediated nitration of manganese superoxide dismutase in the central nervous system: insight into the mechanism of chemobrain
It is demonstrated that treatment with ADR led to an increased circulating level of tumor necrosis factor‐alpha in wild‐type mice and in mice deficient in the inducible form of nitric oxide (iNOSKO), and it is suggested that NO is an important mediator, coupling the effect of ADR with cytokine production and subsequent activation of iNOS expression.
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Specific alterations in activity of frontal cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia in breast cancer survivors were documented by functional neuroimaging 5–10 years after completion of chemotherapy.
Cognitive function during neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer
The authors questioned whether cognitive compromise in patients with breast cancer is attributable to chemotherapy, and the effects of therapy‐induced menopause and of the erythropoiesis‐stimulating factor darbepoetin α on cognitive performance were assessed.
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This study test the hypothesis that, by elevating brain levels of GSH, the brain would be protected against oxidative stress in ADR‐injected mice, and results are discussed with regard to potential pharmacological prevention of brain cognitive dysfunction in patients receiving ADR chemotherapy.
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Adjuvant chemotherapy in women with breast cancer can be associated with deteriorations in memory and this may persist over time, and the addition of tamoxifen may lead to more widespread memory deficits.
Papers of particular interest, published within the annual period of review, have been highlighted as: of special interest of outstanding interest