Purpose: Older cancer patients are at increased risk of cancer-related cognitive impairment. The purpose of this study was to assess the alterations in intrinsic brain activity associated with adjuvant chemotherapy in older women with breast cancer. Methods: Chemotherapy treatment (CT) group included sixteen women aged ≥ 60 years (range 60–82 years) with stage I–III breast cancers, who underwent both resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and neuropsychological testing with NIH Toolbox for Cognition before adjuvant chemotherapy, at time point 1 (TP1), and again within 1 month after completing chemotherapy, at time point 2 (TP2). Fourteen age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) underwent the same assessments at matched intervals. Three voxel-wise rs-fMRI parameters: amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF), fractional ALFF (fALFF), and regional homogeneity, were computed at each time point. The changes in rs-fMRI parameters from TP1 to TP2 for each group, the group differences in changes (the CT group vs. the HC group), and the group difference in the baseline rs-fMRI parameters were assessed. In addition, correlative analysis between the rs-fMRI parameters and neuropsychological testing scores was also performed. Results: In the CT group, one brain region, which included parts of the bilateral subcallosal gyri and right anterior cingulate gyrus, displayed increased ALFF from TP1 to TP2 (cluster p-corrected = 0.024); another brain region in the left precuneus displayed decreased fALFF from TP1 to TP2 (cluster level p-corrected = 0.025). No significant changes in the rs-fMRI parameters from TP1 to TP2 were observed in the HC group. Although ALFF and fALFF alterations were observed only in the CT group, none of the between-group differences in rs-fMRI parameter changes reached statistical significance. Conclusions: Our study results of ALFF and fALFF alterations in the chemotherapy-treated women suggest that adjuvant chemotherapy may affect intrinsic brain activity in older women with breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research