Published in the January 1, 2007 issue of CANCER (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/cancer-newsroom), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study reveals that within 12 months of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy, significant regions of the brain associated with memory, analysis and other cognitive functions were significantly smaller in breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy than those who did not. Within four years after treatment, however, there were no differences in these same regions of the brain.
While the development of chemotherapy has had substantial and beneficial impact on cancer survival rates, it is also linked to significant short- and long-term adverse effects. Gastrointestinal complaints, immunosuppression, and painful mucositis, for example, are the immediate risks of the treatment.
Patients receiving chemotherapy have also long complained of problems with memory, problem-solving and other cognitive abilities. Although chemotherapy was thought not to affect brain cells due to the blood-brain barrier, recent clinical studies have confirmed declines in cognitive functions in patients receiving chemotherapy. Animal studies have shown physical changes in the brain and in neurons caused by chemotherapy drugs. In human studies, however, the little data that is available is only available through imaging and is not consistent in the long-term. In addition, lack of controls in studies makes it difficult discern cancer- versus drug-effects.
Led by Masatoshi Inagaki, M.D., Ph.D., of the Breast Cancer Survivors' Brain MRI Database Group in Japan, researchers used MRI to take high-resolution images and measure volumes in specific areas of the brain of breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy and those who did not one-year after surgery and three-years after surgery. In addition, they compared brains of cancer survivors one-year after surgery and three-years after surgery with healthy subjects.
They found that at one-year, patients treated with chemotherapy had smaller volumes in cognitively sensitive areas, such as the prefrontal, parahippocampal and cingulate gyri, and precuneus regions. However, at three-years post-surgery there was no volume differences. That there were no differences between cancer patients and healthy controls at any time point demonstrates that there is no observable cancer-effect in cognitive deficits.
The authors write that this study suggests that regional brain changes are observable within 12 months and correlate with receiving chemotherapy rather than a secondary effect of the cancer, although it cannot be concluded because of several limitations caused by the study design. However, these structural changes to the central nervous system were not sustained for patients three years after chemotherapy. The authors conclude that "these results lead to the idea that adjuvant chemotherapy could have a temporary effect on brain structure."
David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Discovery of a fundamental limit to the evolution of the genetic code
03.05.2016 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
03.05.2016 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers explain how the passage of unwanted molecules is prevented by rapidly moving molecular “tentacles” inside the pore.
Using high-speed AFM, Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of the University of Basel, has not only directly...
If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”
In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.
Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...
Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.
In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...
Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid
Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...
27.04.2016 | Event News
15.04.2016 | Event News
12.04.2016 | Event News
03.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
03.05.2016 | Life Sciences
03.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy