Neuroimaging biomarkers and cognitive function in non-CNS cancer and its treatment: current status and recommendations for future research
Saykin, Andrew J × de Ruiter, Michiel B McDonald, Brenna C Deprez, Sabine Silverman, Daniel H S #
Springer New York LLC
Brain Imaging and Behavior vol:7 issue:4 pages:363-73
Cognitive changes in patients undergoing treatment for non-central nervous system (CNS) cancers have been recognized for several decades, yet the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Structural, functional and molecular neuroimaging has the potential to help clarify the neural bases of these cognitive abnormalities. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MR spectroscopy (MRS), and positron emission tomography (PET) have all been employed in the study of cognitive effects of cancer treatment, with most studies focusing on breast cancer and changes thought to be induced by chemotherapy. Articles in this special issue of Brain Imaging and Behavior are devoted to neuroimaging studies of cognitive changes in patients with non-CNS cancer and include comprehensive critical reviews and novel research findings. The broad conclusions that can be drawn from past studies and the present body of new research is that there are structural and functional changes associated with cancer and various treatments, particularly systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy, although some cognitive and fMRI studies have identified changes at pre-treatment baseline. Recommendations to accelerate progress include well-powered multicenter neuroimaging studies, a better standardized definition of the cognitive phenotype and extension to other cancers. A systems biology framework incorporating multimodality neuroimaging, genetics and other biomarkers will be highly informative regarding individual differences in risk and protective factors and disease- and treatment-related mechanisms. Studies of interventions targeting cognitive changes are also needed. These next steps are expected to identify novel protective strategies and facilitate a more personalized medicine for cancer patients.