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Research Letter
July 2016

Comparison of Neurocognitive Function After Anthracycline-Based Chemotherapy vs Nonanthracycline-Based Chemotherapy

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California Los Angeles Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • 2Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, University of California Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(7):964-965. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0350

As a whole, the possible adverse effects of breast cancer and its treatment on cognitive function are now widely acknowledged, but the risks of specific chemotherapies are still undetermined. A recent retrospective cross-sectional study found lower memory scores on average 2 years after treatment among breast cancer survivors who underwent anthracycline treatment vs those who underwent other chemotherapies or no chemotherapy, accompanied by lower functional connectivity in default mode network regions.1 However, in an earlier report examining a large sample of patients with breast cancer immediately after primary treatment and adjuvant chemotherapy (the Mind Body Study [MBS]),2 we found no association between anthracycline exposure and cognitive complaints. To determine risk of lasting cognitive decline with anthracycline treatment, we performed a secondary analysis of cognitive function across multiple domains from the MBS prospective longitudinal study of breast cancer survivors, with evaluations at up to 4 time points.

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