How to assess and manage cognitive impairment induced by treatments of non-central nervous system cancer

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Dec:107:602-614. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.09.028. Epub 2019 Sep 22.


A number of neurotoxicity associated with oncological treatments has been reported in non-central nervous system cancers. An expert group presents the state of the art and a guide to help the choice of appropriated tools to assess patient cognition in studies on oncology and neurobehavior in animal models. In addition, current cognitive rehabilitation programs currently under evaluation are also discussed. Cognitive assessments in oncology depend on the research question, study design, cognitive domains, patients' characteristics, psychometric properties of the tests, and whether the tests are supervised or not by a neuropsychologist. Batteries of electronic tests can be proposed, but several of them are characterized by weak psychometric developments. In order to improve the comprehension on the impact of cancer treatments on cognition, new animal models are in development, and would in the future include non-human primate models. By bringing together the skills and practices of oncologists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuroscientists, we propose a series of specific tools and tests that accompany the cognitive management of non-CNS cancer patients.

Keywords: Animal model; Behavior; Cancer patients; Cancer treatments; Cognition; Electronic cognitive tests; Management of cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy