Clinical Drug Investigation

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 109–118 | Cite as

The Impact of Endocrine Therapy on Cognitive Functions of Breast Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review

  • Ioannis Bakoyiannis
  • Eleousa-Alexandra Tsigka
  • Despina Perrea
  • Vasilios Pergialiotis
Systematic Review


Background and Objective

The purpose of the present review was to study the impact of endocrine therapy (ET) on the cognitive outcomes of breast cancer patients.

Materials and Methods

We systematically searched the literature using the MEDLINE (1966–2015), Scopus (2004–2015), (2008–2015) and Cochrane Central Register (CENTRAL) databases, as well as the references of the electronically retrieved articles.


Twelve studies were included in the present systematic review, which assessed the cognitive function of 2756 patients. Among these patients, 2381 received ET, whereas the remaining 375 served as controls (placebo or no therapy). The majority of patients were postmenopausal, and the minimum follow-up period was 3 months and the maximum 2 years. Treatment with ET seems to be accompanied by altered cognitive abilities, including verbal memory, verbal fluency, motor speed, attention and working memory. Tamoxifen seems to be related to decreased cognitive performances compared with treatment with an aromatase inhibitor.


ET among breast cancer patients seems to negatively alter the cognitive outcomes of breast cancer patients. However, the methodological heterogeneity of the included studies, as well as the relatively small follow-up period, render imperative the conduct of further studies in the field.


Tamoxifen Breast Cancer Patient Endocrine Therapy Raloxifene Letrozole 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were used to conduct this systematic review.

Conflict of interest

Ioannis Bakoyiannis, Eleousa-Alexandra Tsigka, Despina Perrea, and Vasilios Pergialiotis have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

40261_2015_364_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (564 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 564 kb)
40261_2015_364_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (280 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 279 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis Bakoyiannis
    • 1
  • Eleousa-Alexandra Tsigka
    • 1
  • Despina Perrea
    • 1
  • Vasilios Pergialiotis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental Surgery and Surgical Research N.S. ChristeasUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.HalandriGreece

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