Chemo Fog pp 21-25 | Cite as

The Impact of Chemo Brain on the Patient with a High-Grade Glioma

  • Michele R. Lucas
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 678)


Health-related quality of life for patients with high-grade gliomas has always been poor. The multiple insults to the brain—tumor existence and surgical procedures, irradiation, the level of stress and anxiety suffered and the adjuvant medications— steroids and anti-convulsants, all combine to diminish their health-related quality of life. Prior to the development of chemotherapy agents capable of penetrating the blood brain barrier, prognosis was 6 to 18 months. Life expectancy was short and there was little time to address the health-related quality of life. The newer agents have served to extend life, but have added another condition to the existing poor health-related quality of life, i.e., chemo brain. Chemo brain affects all cognitive function. The patients have great difficulty processing information. They have reduced attentional and concentration capability and cannot learn new information. The overall impact on their lives renders them unemployable and places a great burden on their families and on society. This chapter provides an overview of the patient experience and the burden placed on their families and on society.


Malignant Glioma Family Unit Brainstem Glioma Healthy Brain Tissue Optic Nerve Glioma 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele R. Lucas
    • 1
  1. 1.Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-OncologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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