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  • Updated 03.04.2022
  • Released 09.11.2006
  • Expires For CME 03.04.2025

Sequelae of treatment of CNS tumors

Introduction

Overview

Short- and long-term complications of antineoplastic treatment of brain tumors 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.

Key points

• Although survival from childhood brain tumors has improved greatly, sequelae of their treatment remain problematic.

• Enhanced targeting of brain tumor treatment based on molecular characteristics of the individual tumor holds the promise of avoiding some sequelae of treatment.

• Sequelae of brain tumor treatment during childhood are related to the predominant locations of these tumors, insufficient targeting of treatments to the neoplastic cells, and the potential of de novo oncogenesis and secondary tumors to result from DNA- and replication-targeted therapies.

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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