A narrative review of risk factors and interventions for cancer-related cognitive impairment

Author: Lu Bai1,2, Enyan Yu1,2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Cancer Hospital of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Zhejiang Cancer Hospital), Hangzhou, China. <sup>2</sup> Institute of Cancer and Basic Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Conference/Journal: Ann Transl Med
Date published: 2021 Jan 1
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 72 , Special Notes: doi: 10.21037/atm-20-6443. , Word Count: 245

Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) refers to a series of cognitive impairment symptoms associated with alternations in brain structure and function, caused by a non-central nervous system malignant tumor and its related treatment. CRCI may present as memory loss, impaired concentration, difficulty in multitasking and word retrieval, and reduced comprehension speed. CRCI has become one of the prevalent factors that compromise the quality of life for cancer survivors. Different treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, endocrine therapy, and targeted drugs, may contribute to CRCI. Meanwhile, patients' factors, including emotional challenges and genetic makeup, also contribute to the development of CRCI. The condition can be treated with using stimulants methylphenidate and modafinil, metabolites of nicotine: cotinine, antidepressants of fluoxetine and fluvoxamine, dementia drug of donepezil, and antioxidants ZnSO4, n-acetyl cysteine, propofol, and Chinese herbal of silver leaf medicine. Psychotherapies, including meditation and relaxation, cognitive rehabilitation training, along with physical therapies, including aerobic exercise, resistance training, balance training, yoga, qigong, tai chi electroencephalogram biofeedback, and acupuncture, are also beneficial in alleviating cancer-related cognitive impairment symptoms. In recent years, researchers have focused on factors related to the condition and on the available interventions. However, most research was conducted independently, and no review has yet summarized the latest findings. This review details and discusses the status of related factors and potential treatments for CRCI. We also supply specific recommendations to facilitate future research and integration in this field.

Keywords: Cancer; cognitive impairment; risk factors; treatment.

PMID: 33553365 PMCID: PMC7859819 DOI: 10.21037/atm-20-6443