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J Pediatr Psychol. 2007 Oct;32(9):1111-26. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

Scholarly literature review: management of neurocognitive late effects with stimulant medication.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA. brian.daly@temple.edu



To examine the extant literature on stimulant drug therapy for survivors of childhood cancer during the late-effects period.


A review of literature is provided on the mechanism of and cognitive toxicities for children and adolescents treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and malignant brain tumors (BT) as well as the pharmacotherapy of stimulant medications, with a specific review of literature on the efficacy and safety of the stimulants for children with ALL and BT.


Only four studies were found that have examined the effects of stimulant medication on the cognitive toxicities of childhood survivors of cancer during the late-effects period and only two of these investigations were controlled clinical trials. Findings suggest efficacy of the stimulants on parent and teacher ratings of attention and putative tasks of attention and executive functioning.


Although there is some preliminary support for the efficacy and safety of the stimulants for survivors of ALL and BT, more research is needed concerning the long-term effects of the stimulants among cancer survivors.

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