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Systemic Chemotherapy Decreases Brain Glucose Metabolism

1Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Publication Date:
Ann Clin Transl Neurol.
Volume Number:
Issue Number:
Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2014 Oct; 1(10): 788-98.
PubMed ID:
Appears in Collections:
P41 EB015898/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
P41 EB015902/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
P41 RR013218/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
U54 EB005149/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Horky L., Gerbaudo V.H., Zaitsev A., Plesniak W., Hainer J., Govindarajulu U., Kikinis R., Dietrich J. Systemic Chemotherapy Decreases Brain Glucose Metabolism. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2014 Oct; 1(10): 788-98. PMID: 25493270. PMCID: PMC4241806.
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Objective Cancer patients may experience neurologic adverse effects, such as alterations in neurocognitive function, as a consequence of chemotherapy. The mechanisms underlying such neurotoxic syndromes remain poorly understood. We here describe the temporal and regional effects of systemically administered platinum-based chemotherapy on glucose metabolism in the brain of cancer patients. Methods Using sequential FDG-PET/CT imaging prior to and after administration of chemotherapy, we retrospectively characterized the effects of intravenously administered chemotherapy on brain glucose metabolism in a total of 24 brain regions in a homogenous cohort of 10 patients with newly diagnosed non-small-cell lung cancer. Results Significant alterations of glucose metabolism were found in response to chemotherapy in all gray matter structures, including cortical structures, deep nuclei, hippocampi, and cerebellum. Metabolic changes were also notable in frontotemporal white matter (WM) network systems, including the corpus callosum, subcortical, and periventricular WM tracts. Interpretation Our data demonstrate a decrease in glucose metabolism in both gray and white matter structures associated with chemotherapy. Among the affected regions are those relevant to the maintenance of brain plasticity and global neurologic function. This study potentially offers novel insights into the spatial and temporal effects of systemic chemotherapy on brain metabolism in cancer patients.

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