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Self‐reported cognitive outcomes among adolescent and young adult patients with noncentral nervous system cancers

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Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) among adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients with noncentral nervous system (CNS) cancers has not been well studied. In this study, we aimed to describe CRCI-associated trends and characteristics among AYA cancer patients.


In a longitudinal cohort of AYA cancer patients without CNS disease, CRCI was evaluated over 1 year using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive Function Instrument, a self-reported cognitive outcome measure. CRCI prevalence was quantified using the previously established minimal clinically important difference. CRCI-associated longitudinal trends and factors were evaluated with mixed-effects model analysis.


Ninety-one patients (mean age = 28.4 ± 6.7 years) were included. Approximately one-third (34.1%) experienced CRCI at least once during the study follow-up. Female gender (P = .02), Indian ethnicity (P < .01), current smokers (P < .01), anxiety/depressive symptoms (P < .01) and fatigue (P < .01) were found to be associated with poorer cognitive function among AYAs.


Although AYA cancer patients were relatively young and without CNS disease involvement, a significant proportion of them experienced clinically important decline in cognitive function. With improved understanding of this subject, effective strategies can be formulated to promote awareness of CRCI and mitigate its negative effects among AYA cancer patients.

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