Dr. Gaspar on Reducing Neurotoxicity in Lung Cancer

Laurie Gaspar, MD
Published Online: Monday, August 26, 2013

Laurie Gaspar, MD, Professor and Chair Department of Radiation Oncology, Grohne Chair in Clinical Oncology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, discusses reducing neurotoxicity in small cell lung cancer patients.

Neurotoxicity is a phenomenon, Gaspar says, that occurs with prophylactic cranial radiation or whole brain radiation therapy for brain metastases.

Gaspar says that there are several methods of decreasing neurotoxicity but that she is particularly interested in using medication to decrease the risk.

While using medication seems to be the most straightforward approach, additional research will focus on reducing or avoiding radiation to the hippocampus, Gaspar says. Protecting the hippocampus will help patients keep their memory.

As more patients with limited small cell lung cancer are being cured, quality of life is going to become increasingly important.

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