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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Jun;54(6):925-31.

Cognitive function of older patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer: a pilot prospective longitudinal study.

Author information

1
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA. hurriaa@mskcc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To report on the longitudinal cognitive functioning of older women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.

DESIGN:

Neuropsychological and functional status testing were performed before chemotherapy and 6 months after chemotherapy.

SETTING:

Cancer center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty-one patients aged 65 and older with Stage I to III breast cancer. Of the 31 patients enrolled, three refused post-testing, and 28 were evaluable.

MEASUREMENTS:

The following domains of cognitive function were examined: attention; verbal memory; visual memory; and verbal, spatial, psychomotor, and executive functions.

RESULTS:

Participants had a mean age of 71 (range 65-84): 39% Stage I, 50% Stage II, and 11% Stage III. The number of scores 2 standard deviations (SDs) below the norm were calculated for each patient before and 6 months after chemotherapy; 14 (50%) had no change, 11 (39%) worsened, and three (11%) improved (P=.05). Seven patients (25%) experienced a decline in cognitive function, defined as a 1-SD decline from pre- to post-testing in two or more neuropsychological domains. Exploratory analyses revealed no significant difference between functional status, comorbidity, and depression scale scores and change in overall quality-of-life scores before and after chemotherapy.

CONCLUSION:

In this cohort of older women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy, a subset experienced a decline in cognitive function from before chemotherapy to 6 months after chemotherapy. Further prospective study is needed to confirm these observations and to identify the subgroup at special risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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