Structural Brain Differences in Breast Cancer Patients Compared to Matched Controls Prior to Chemotherapy
- Carole Scherling
- Barbara Collins
- Joyce MacKenzie
- Chris Lepage
- Catherine Bielajew
- Andra Smith
AbstractUnderstanding the relationship between chemotherapy and cognitive impairment requires information on pre-treatment variability between cancer patients and well-matched controls. The purpose of this study was to investigate neuroanatomical differences between breast cancer (BC) patients and controls, prior to chemotherapy,controllingfor possible confounding variables. Twenty-three female early-stage BC patients underwent MRI scanning after surgery but before chemotherapy and were sex-, age- and education-matched to non-cancer controls. Whole brain and region of interest (ROI) group comparisons of grey (GM) and white matter (WM) were performed using voxel-based morphometry.Significant ROI structural differences between BC patients and controls were found depending on the type of analysis used and the covariates entered. This is one of the first imaging studies to focus on pre-chemotherapy neuroanatomical differences between BC patients and well-matched controls, considering demographic, psychological and biological factors in the analyses. Results highlight the importance of better understanding the whole patient prior to chemotherapy, stressing the importance of rigorous methodological procedures.
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