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'Toxicity map' of brain may help protect cognition for cancer patients
Date:3/20/2013

r the toxicity map. The researchers then went back into the medical records to match participants to their individual radiation dose levels and MRIs taken prior to treatment, Peiffer said.

"By matching cognitive performance to these measurements, we determined which area of the brain and what dose influenced performance on the cognitive tasks," she said. "This gave us a preliminary look at what areas are important to consider for protecting cognition during our planning for radiation treatment."

Peiffer said by looking at the irradiation dose received by specific brain areas important to different cognitive functions, tolerance levels related to function can be established. The exposed amount of these critical brain areas were then related to outcomes of specific tests used to assess cognition or the ability of the patients to think and perform tasks, such as remembering a grocery list or what a drawing looked like, Peiffer said.

"As technology advances and we are able to spare increasing amounts of normal tissue and important functional structures during treatment, it is important to understand and be able to predict the threshold that we need to maintain to prevent treatment toxicities in function," Peiffer said.

Advances in cancer treatment have increased survivorship rates and the length of time individuals are able to live following treatment, Peiffer said, and quality of life becomes a very important issue for these patients. More research is necessary to validate these data, she said.


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Contact: Bonnie Davis
bdavis@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4977
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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