ABSTRACT: As more effective therapies prolong the survival of patients with cancer, therapy-related toxicities, particularly those affecting the central nervous system (CNS) become increasingly important. CNS complications can cause significant morbidity and can limit the dose or duration of otherwise effective treatments. Because effects on the CNS are disabling and often permanent and treatments remain limited, it is important that clinicians recognize the effects of cancer therapy on the CNS. Cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiation are well-known causes of neurotoxicity, but there is increasing recognition that novel therapies are also sources of adverse effects on the CNS. This review highlights the CNS complications that result from radiation, chemotherapy, and novel therapeutics.
The journal of supportive oncology 04/2012; 10(4):133-41.