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Cognitive impairment in men with testicular cancer prior to adjuvant therapy
Article first published online: 24 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Cancer Society
Volume 117, Issue 1, pages 190–196, 1 January 2011
How to Cite
Wefel, J. S., Vidrine, D. J., Veramonti, T. L., Meyers, C. A., Marani, S. K., Hoekstra, H. J., Hoekstra-Weebers, J. E. H. M., Shahani, L. and Gritz, E. R. (2011), Cognitive impairment in men with testicular cancer prior to adjuvant therapy. Cancer, 117: 190–196. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25298
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 14 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 10 NOV 2009
- cognition disorders;
- testicular neoplasms;
- quality of life
Cognitive dysfunction experienced by individuals with cancer represents an important survivorship issue because of its potential to affect occupational, scholastic, and social activities. Whereas early efforts to characterize cognitive dysfunction primarily focused on the effects of chemotherapy, more recent evidence indicates that impairment may exist before systemic treatment. This study characterized cognitive dysfunction before adjuvant chemotherapy in a sample of men diagnosed with nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT) of the testis.
Men with newly diagnosed NSGCT were recruited after orchiectomy but before adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients completed neuropsychological tests to assess attention, learning, language, executive function, and motor function. Self-report measures of depression and anxiety were also administered. An overall cognitive function index was computed for participants. Cognitive impairment was defined as a z-score of less than or equal to −1.5 on 2 or more tests, or a z-score of less than or equal to −2.0 on a single test.
Approximately 46% of patients exhibited cognitive impairment at the time of assessment, which is significantly greater than would be expected considering healthy population norms (binomial test: P < .0001). Patients exhibited impairments in motor function, verbal learning, and executive function much more frequently relative to normative expectations (binomial test: P < .0001).
The prevalence of cognitive impairment in men with newly diagnosed NSGCT is unexpectedly high before the receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy. Efforts to track cognitive function over time and to develop effective interventions are warranted. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.