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Advances in the study of the pathogenesis of cancer-related cognitive impairment

Jiwei Jiang1,2† Zhongli Du3† Yanli Wang1,2 Hanping Shi4 Wenyi Li1,2 Yuan Zhang1,2 Mengfan Sun1,2 Zhimin Bian5* Jun Xu1,2*
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1 Department of Neurology, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
2 China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
3 National Center for Clinical Laboratories, Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing Hospital/National Center of Gerontology, Beijing, China
4 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery/Clinical Nutrition, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
5 Comprehensive Department, National Cancer Center, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
Tumor Discovery 2022 , 1(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.36922/td.v1i1.46
Submitted: 2 December 2021 | Accepted: 7 March 2022 | Published: 22 March 2022
© 2022 by the Authors. Licensee AccScience Publishing, Singapore. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

Advances in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies have significantly contributed to an increase in the survival rate of cancer patients. Recently, several studies suggested that cancer patients may exhibit symptoms of cognitive impairment before, during and even many years after the completion of therapies, negatively impacting the quality of life and functional independence of cancer survivors. Clinically, the coexistence of cancer and cognitive impairment reminds scientists of paraneoplastic syndrome, especially limbic encephalitis. However, some cancer patients show symptoms of cognition deterioration after treatment, without any typical psychiatric symptoms, epileptic seizures or positive antineuronal antibodies, suggesting that the relationship between cancer and cognitive deficits is more common than previously anticipated. Most importantly, many aspects of the association between cancer and cognitive impairment remain uncertain. The definitive connection between systemic cancer and central nervous system is yet to be established. Therefore, this review summarizes the current evidence on the potential pathophysiology in these patients with cancer-related cognitive impairment, and reviews the knowledge gaps and the potential counteracting strategies.

Keywords
Cancer
Cognitive impairment
Mechanism
Chemotherapy
Funding
National Natural Science Foundation of China
Beijing Youth Talent Team Support Program
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Conflict of interest
No conflict of interest was reported by all authors.
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