September 4, 2015 13:00 — 0 Comments

Study Finds Current Brain Cancer Treatments May Cause Brain Shrinkage

In a recent study published in the journal Neurology, researchers from the Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology found that radiation and chemotherapy may be shrinking patients’ brains. Although it is well known that whole brain radiation can have adverse, neurotoxic effects this is the first study to characterize structural brain changes resulting from standard radiation and chemotherapy in patients with malignant brain tumors. During the study, researchers analyzed 14 patients with a glioblastoma, who were scheduled to receive chemotherapy and radiation after their tumors were surgically removed. Before and after their 35-week treatment, MRIs were taken with a high-powered scanner. Only eight patients had an adequate number of images taken, but all of them saw the overall amount of brain tissue decrease significantly throughout the course of treatment. Because chemotherapy was ongoing simultaneously, chemotherapy cannot be ruled out as the cause for the shrinkage. Researchers said that the volume reduction occurred within a few weeks after beginning treatment, and was primarily seen in grey matter. The ventricles also became larger and changes were seen in the subventricular zone. To read more about this study, click here.

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