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J Clin Oncol. 1996 Oct;14(10):2826-35.

Neuropsychologic effects of chemotherapy on children with cancer: a longitudinal study.

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1
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA. dcopeland@pedi01.mda.uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

A prospective study was conducted to assess the effects of chemotherapy for cancer on children's long-term neuropsychologic status.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Ninety-nine children who received no cranial radiation therapy (CRT) completed four annual neuropsychologic assessments. Fifty-one patients received intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy (ITC); 48 received no CNS treatment. These two groups were compared using repeated-measures analysis of variance on IQ, memory, language, freedom from distractibility, academic achievement, executive functions, and fine-motor, perceptual-motor, and tactile-spatial skills. In addition, 51 of the sample of 99 patients had been examined 5 to 11 years after diagnosis. Their data were analyzed to evaluate the longer-term effects of chemotherapy. The predictability of demographic and medical variables on neuropsychologic outcome at 3-year and long-term follow-up study were assessed using multiple regression techniques.

RESULTS:

Overall, the effects of chemotherapy in the absence of CRT appear to be slight. Patients who received ITC and intravenous (IV) methotrexate declined slightly on perceptual-motor skills, but were still well within the normal range. Both groups, regardless of treatment, declined on academic achievement tests, although not to a statistically significant degree. Age effects were found on performance IQ (PIQ) and perceptual-motor skills. Socioeconomic status (SES) correlated with a large number of variables. Sex effects were not significant.

CONCLUSION:

The present results are largely consistent with previous findings for nonirradiated groups. Treatment effects from ITC are slightly more apparent 5 to 11 years after diagnosis than at 3-year follow-up evaluation but this does not constitute a clinically meaningful difference. More noticeable are academic declines among all groups, regardless of treatment.

PMID:
8874345
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.1996.14.10.2826
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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