eISSN: 1897-4309
ISSN: 1428-2526
Contemporary Oncology/Współczesna Onkologia
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A systemic literature review of neuroimaging studies in women with breast cancer treated with adjuvant chemotherapy

Paulina Andryszak, Monika Wiłkość, Paweł Izdebski, Bogdan Żurawski

Contemp Oncol (Pozn) 2017; 21 (1): 6-15
Chemotherapy-induced cognitive deficits in patients with breast cancer, predominantly in attention and verbal memory, have been observed in numerous studies. These neuropsychological findings are corroborated by the results of neuroimaging studies. The aim of this paper was to survey the reports on cerebral structural and functional alterations in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy (CTx). First, we discuss the host-related and disease-related mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment after CTx. We point out the direct and indirect neurotoxic effect of cytostatics, which may cause: a damage to neurons or glial cells, changes in neurotransmitter levels, deregulation of the immune system and/or cytokine release. Second, we focus on the results of neuroimaging studies on brain structure and function that revealed decreased: density of grey matter, integrity of white matter and volume of multiple brain regions, as well as their lower activation during cognitive task performance. Finally, we concentrate on compensatory mechanisms, which activate additional brain areas or neural connection to reach the premorbid cognitive efficiency.

neuroimaging, cognition, breast cancer, chemotherapy

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