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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Mar 20;24(9):1415-20.

Phase II study of donepezil in irradiated brain tumor patients: effect on cognitive function, mood, and quality of life.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Brain Tumor Center of Excellence of WFU, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1030, USA. eshaw@wfubmc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

A prospective, open-label phase II study was conducted to determine whether donepezil, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's type dementia, improved cognitive functioning, mood, and quality of life (QOL) in irradiated brain tumor patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Thirty-four patients received donepezil 5 mg/d for 6 weeks, then 10 mg/d for 18 weeks, followed by a washout period of 6 weeks off drug. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 12, 24 (end of treatment), and 30 weeks (end of wash-out). All tests were administered by a trained research nurse.

RESULTS:

Of 35 patients who initiated the study, 24 patients (mean age, 45 years) remained on study for 24 weeks and completed all outcome assessments. All 24 patients had a primary brain tumor, mostly low-grade glioma. Scores significantly improved between baseline (pretreatment) and week 24 on measures of attention/concentration, verbal memory, and figural memory and a trend for verbal fluency (all P < .05). Confused mood also improved from baseline to 24 weeks (P = .004), with a trend for fatigue and anger (all P < .05). Health-related QOL improved significantly from baseline to 24 weeks, particularly, for brain specific concerns with a trend for improvement in emotional and social functioning (all P < .05).

CONCLUSION:

Cognitive functioning, mood, and health-related QOL were significantly improved following a 24-week course of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor donepezil. Toxicities were minimal. We are planning a double blinded, placebo-controlled, phase III trial of donepezil to confirm these favorable results.

PMID:
16549835
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2005.03.3001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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