Neurocognitive Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment
With changes in the approach to treatment of childhood leukemia and brain tumors, more children are surviving into adulthood. With this increase in long-term survivorship, long-term neurocognitive side effects have emerged. Research has shown that these survivors suffer a variety of neurocognitive effects including changes in attention span, concentration, school performance and executive functioning. Researchers continue to study changes in therapy with the hopes of decreasing these long-term side effects without compromising overall survival rates. Others have focused on developing adaptations to how these children learn, equipping them with tools to better cope with learning deficits. Still, others have looked into pharmacological interventions. This chapter will discuss the historical course of therapy for both leukemia and brain tumors. In addition, it will highlight how late effect studies guided changes in therapeutic approach for both childhood leukemias and brain tumors. This chapter will also discuss specific neurocognitive effects from childhood cancer treatment, challenges in research methodologies as well as current pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions for affected childhood cancer survivors.
KeywordsBrain Tumor Childhood Cancer Cranial Radiation Childhood Cancer Survivor Childhood Leukemia
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