Purpose of Review: There are more than 11 million survivors of pediatric cancers living in the US. The largest proportion had leukemia and the group most severely impacted by their cancer and their therapies are the survivors of central nervous system (CNS) tumors. This review describes the neurocognitive outcome for these groups and outlines work aimed at understanding the pathophysiology of and approach to ameliorating neurocognitive dysfunction. RECENT FINDINGS: The impact of chemotherapy on children treated for leukemia without radiation has been elucidated and the differential impact of different radiation fields and doses among children with CNS malignancies has been described. Newer imaging techniques may predict damage earlier and animal models of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity may prove valuable in designing less toxic therapies or finding protective agents. Cognitive training programs, notably computerized programs that can be accessed at home, may be part of successful programs for minimizing neurotoxicity. SUMMARY: This review seeks to describe the neurocognitive consequences of cancer and its therapy among pediatric patients treated for leukemia or a CNS tumor. The consequences of therapy with and without cranial radiation are described and information on potentially valuable animal models and imaging techniques are presented. The impact of host pharmacogenomics is outlined.
- neurocognitive dysfunction
- pediatric cancer
- risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health