Chemo Fog pp 86-95 | Cite as

Is Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy Neurotoxic? Does Chemo Brain Exist? And Should We Rename It?

  • Sophie Taillibert
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 678)


The existence of chemo brain has become almost universally accepted, although many details of the concept are controversial. Data about the different types of cognitive impairment and their duration are not always consistent in the literature. We still do not know which cytotoxic agents are responsible, which characteristics make patients vulnerable and which biologic mechanisms are involved. This chapter reviews the recent literature and provides an actualized definition of chemo brain, including recent functional imaging data and discusses its controversial aspects. Potential underlying mechanisms and their future possible clinical applications in the prevention and treatment of chemo brain are also discussed. These issues are of clinical importance given the prevalence of breast carcinoma, the increased use of chemotherapy as adjuvant therapy, the increasing use of more aggressive dosing schedules and the increasing survival rates. Better-designed future trials should lead to a better definition and understanding of chemo brain and to future therapies.


Breast Cancer Cognitive Impairment Breast Cancer Patient Adjuvant Chemotherapy Mild Cognitive Impairment 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Taillibert
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-SalpêtrièreService de Neurologie Mazarin, bâtiment Mazarin 47 bd de l’hôpitalParisFrance

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