Chemotherapy and cognitive impairment

treatment options

J. E. Fardell, J. Vardy, I. N. Johnston, G. Winocur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


Chemotherapy has improved survival rates in patients with many of the common cancers. However, there is reliable evidence that, as a result of treatment, a subset of cancer survivors experience cognitive problems that can last for many years after the completion of chemotherapy. The etiology of this phenomenon is largely unknown, and currently there are no proven treatments. This article explores the clinical and preclinical literature on potential therapies for chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairments. Emerging results suggest that both pharmacological and behavioral approaches may offer patients some benefits. However, research in this area has been limited and is sometimes fraught with methodological flaws. As a result, it is difficult to draw definite conclusions regarding treatment efficacy. These issues, along with predictors of cognitive decline, are discussed in the light of possible interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-376
Number of pages11
JournalClinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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