Neurologic Complications of Cancer Drug Therapies

Center for Neuro-oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
CONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology 04/2012; 18(2):355-65. DOI: 10.1212/01.CON.0000413663.42798.64
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this article is to review neurologic complications associated with systemic anticancer therapies.
Although neurologic complications from traditional chemotherapies are well described, most neurologists are less familiar with complications from agents that target specific pathways or receptors. This article also reviews the most common neurologic adverse effects associated with newer targeted agents.
Patients with cancer are living longer because of earlier diagnoses and remarkable improvements in treatments. Unfortunately, both traditional chemotherapies and newer targeted agents are known to cause neurologic symptoms that can impact quality of life and play a role in limiting potential treatments. Acute, subacute, and chronic syndromes may affect the central or peripheral nervous system. Since treatments for therapy-induced neurotoxicity are limited, awareness of common neurologic complications is important to prevent permanent damage.

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