Sequelae of treatment of CNS tumors

Nina Schor MD PhD (

Dr. Schor of the National Institutes of Health and Deputy Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Roger J Packer MD, editor. (

Dr. Packer of George Washington University and Children’s National Health System received honorariums from AstraZeneca and Novartis as an advisory board member.

Originally released September 11, 2006; last updated October 13, 2020; expires October 13, 2023


Short- and long-term complications of antineoplastic treatment of brain tumors are poorly understood and contribute greatly to the morbidity of these neoplasms. In this updated article, the author discusses the complications and long-term sequelae of treatment for brain tumors. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy are considered; treatment of complications and comorbidities of brain tumors (eg, antiseizure medications for symptomatic seizure prevention) are considered elsewhere in Medlink Neurology.

Historical note and terminology

The impact of tumors of the CNS on patients results not only from their high morbidity and mortality rates, but also from the sequelae of the tumors themselves and the treatment thereof. Neurocognitive sequelae are perhaps the most problematic of the effects of the treatment of CNS tumors; they can occur in both children and adults. Symptomatic epilepsy, motor and sensory dysfunction, and vascular changes also occur as early or remote effects of treatment.

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