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MASCC Neurological Complications Study Group

Leadership

Chair: Charles Loprinzi, MD - USA
Vice-Chair: Alex Chan, PharmD - Singapore
Vice-Chair: Maryam Lustberg - USA
For more information or to contact this Study Group Leadership, please send your inquiry to mascc.office@mascc.org

Study Group Minutes
2017 Minutes alt - Annual Meeting - Washington, DC

Introduction

Since the birth of oncology as a distinct medical discipline, oncologists have considered myelosuppression and its attendant problems to be the dose-limiting and most important toxicities of radiation and chemotherapy. Within the last decade, however, the availability of colony-stimulating factors, and dramatic improvements in transfusion medicine, antibiotic therapy, and supportive care have made the bone marrow more robust. Today, a strong case can be made that the nervous system has replaced the bone marrow as the most important dose-limiting end organ for cancer therapy. Similarly, for the growing number of cancer survivors, the nervous system rather than the hematopoietic system more frequently affects the quality of survival and the economic productivity of survivors. At the same time, longer survival, more effective systemic therapies, and the relative inaccessibility of the nervous system to these therapies has resulted in a steady increase in the frequency of direct nervous system involvement by non-nervous system cancer.

All components of the central and peripheral nervous system are susceptible to injury by cancer therapy. Among the most prominent targets are the brain (resulting in cognitive impairment, neuroendocrine dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and social disintegration) and the peripheral nerves (resulting in neuropathy). The brain, spinal epidural space and leptomeninges are all common nervous system targets for metastatic spread of tumor and subsequent neurologic compromise.

Purpose

The guiding purpose of the Neurologic Complications Study Group is to raise awareness within the healthcare community and among patients and advocacy groups about the frequency, importance, and complexity of these problems. To accomplish this goal, the group initiates and supports collaborative research designed to expand our knowledge of the nature, treatment, and prevention of neurologic complications. This group also serves as a resource for information about these problems and develops evidence-based guidelines. Because these issues have only recently garnered attention from the academic community, research on  their characteristics, risk factors, and frequency is limited.

Objectives

The Study Group was formed to focus on the following objectives:

  • To develop reliable assessment tools
  • To assess internationally potential variation in the significance of neurological complications
  • To survey members’ opinions and needs regarding neurological complications 
  • To contribute program content to MASCC meetings and practical resources to the MASCC website

Because these problems are important to all patients with cancer, a multidisciplinary approach is essential. In particular, this study group promotes close collaboration with the Psychosocial Oncology and the Rehabilitation and Survivorship Study Groups.

Past Workshop

Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment. MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting, Adelaide, Australia, 2016.

Research Highlight

Docetaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors
Lise Eckhoff and her colleagues have conducted research on docetaxel-induced neuropathy among Danish women with early-stage breast cancer, confirming that women with chemotherapy-induced PN received significantly lower cumulative doses of chemotherapy. In other work, Eckhoff et al. have found support for the theory that oxidative stress is involved in docetaxel-induced PN.They have also investigated the persistence of docetaxel-induced neuropathy and its impact on quality of life among breast cancer survivors.  >> Read More

Ongoing Research

Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy Research Projects of MASCC Neurologic Complications Study Group Members
Differential Gene Expression in Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy alt
Project Status: 14 patients analyzed (before and after chemotherapy); recruiting more patients (June 2012)

Recent Member Publications

Recent Study Group member publications related to neurological complications in patients with cancer.


Please contact the Study Group Chairs above with your questions.
MASCC Study Group Coordinator, Don Gubitosa