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28-04-2016 | Breast cancer | News | Article

News in brief

Anthracycline-related cognitive dysfunction concerns disputed

medwireNews: The authors of a research letter find no association between anthracycline-based chemotherapy and decline in neurocognitive function among breast cancer survivors, in contrast to another recent study.

Patricia Ganz, from UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, USA, and colleagues used data from the Mind Body Study, the participants of which underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests within 3 months of primary treatment (n=190), and again at 6 months and a year (n=173 at each timepoint), and after an average of 4.8 years (n=102).

They found no differences in neuropsychological performance – specifically in the memory, processing speed and executive functioning domains – between the 24 women who had received anthracycline-based chemotherapy, the 74 treated with chemotherapy without an anthracycline and the 92 who had not received chemotherapy. The groups had comparable scores at all timepoints, and up to 7 years after treatment, the team reports in JAMA Oncology.

The researchers highlight the discrepancy between their longitudinal study and an earlier cross-sectional study, in which anthracycline-treated breast cancer survivors had lower memory scores an average of 2 years after treatment.

But they believe that the contrasting findings are “not due to differential sensitivity” as their neuropsychological tests had more challenging memory measures.

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016

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