A systematic review on the use of quantitative imaging to detect cancer therapy adverse effects in normal-appearing brain tissue

Petr J, Hogeboom L, Nikulin P, Wiegers E, Schroyen G, Kallehauge J, Chmelík M, Clement P, Nechifor RE, Fodor LA, De Witt Hamer PC, Barkhof F, Pernet C, Lequin M, Deprez S, Jančálek R, Mutsaerts HJMM, Pizzini FB, Emblem KE, Keil VC.

MAGMA. 2021 Dec 17. doi:10.1007/s10334-021-00985-2. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34919195.

23 Dec 2021

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Cancer therapy for both central nervous system (CNS) and non-CNS tumors has been previously associated with transient and long-term cognitive deterioration, commonly referred to as 'chemo fog'. This therapy-related damage to otherwise normal-appearing brain tissue is reported using post-mortem neuropathological analysis. Although the literature on monitoring therapy effects on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is well established, such macroscopic structural changes appear relatively late and irreversible. Early quantitative MRI biomarkers of therapy-induced damage would potentially permit taking these treatment side effects into account, paving the way towards a more personalized treatment planning.This systematic review (PROSPERO number 224196) provides an overview of quantitative tomographic imaging methods, potentially identifying the adverse side effects of cancer therapy in normal-appearing brain tissue. Seventy studies were obtained from the MEDLINE and Web of Science databases. Studies reporting changes in normal-appearing brain tissue using MRI, PET, or SPECT quantitative biomarkers, related to radio-, chemo-, immuno-, or hormone therapy for any kind of solid, cystic, or liquid tumor were included. The main findings of the reviewed studies were summarized, providing also the risk of bias of each study assessed using a modified QUADAS-2 tool. For each imaging method, this review provides the methodological background, and the benefits and shortcomings of each method from the imaging perspective. Finally, a set of recommendations is proposed to support future research.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Cognitive decline; Long-term adverse effects; Neuroimaging; Radiotherapy.

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