Treating Cancer that Has Spread to the Brain Locally with Neurosurgical Resection and Chemotherapeutic Wafers Can Improve Cognitive Function


September 26, 2013

A new approach to treating cancer that has spread to the brain is able to preserve and, in some cases, improve cognitive function in patients, while achieving local control of tumor progression. A study led by researchers with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that 98 percent of patients who deferred whole brain radiation therapy and had chemotherapeutic wafers placed around the areas where metastatic tumors in the brain had been surgically removed showed preserved cognitive function in one or more of three domains; 65 percent showed preservation in all areas tested: memory, executive function, and fine motor skills. The study, published online in Cancer, demonstrated improvements in cognitive function, particularly in executive function and memory, which were observed in more than 40 percent of patients. In the fine motor movement category, 50 percent of patients showed improvements.

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