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Cognitive Outcomes Improved With Proton Therapy in Pediatric Brain Tumors

Angelica Welch
Published: Monday, Nov 19, 2018

Jeffrey Gross, MD

Jeffrey Gross, MD

Favorable neurocognitive outcomes were observed in pediatric patients with brain tumors with the use of proton radiation therapy (PRT) compared with X-ray radiation therapy (XRT), according to findings from a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics.

In the multivariate analysis, investigators also tested interaction with follow-up time. Findings showed higher full-scale IQ of β = 10.6 points per year, (P = .048); processing speed of β = 12.6, P = .02; and parent-reported practical function of β = 13.8, (P = .049); following PRT relative to XRT. Following craniospinal irradiation (CSI), there was lower processing speed of β = -15.9, (P = .04); and VMI of β = -14.0, (P = .006). Additionally, there was a higher verbal IQ of β = 0.84, (P = .02); and full-scale IQ of β = 1.03, (P = .01) observed in older patients.

According to the univariate analyses, the mean verbal IQ for those who received PRT was 99.6% compared with 92.9% for those who received XRT (P = .03). In the PRT and XRT populations, the assessment showed a full-scale IQ of 99.6% versus 88.6%, processing speed of 86.9% versus 80.0%, VMI of 87.1% versus 80.8%, general adaptive composite of 91.4% versus 80.7%, conceptual function of 94.6% versus 84.1%, social function of 94.8% versus 86.2%, and practical function was 91.1% versus 78.9%. There were no significant differences in long-term memory or digit span.

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