Cancer-related cognitive impairment in patients with newly diagnosed aggressive lymphoma undergoing standard chemotherapy: a longitudinal feasibility study
Purpose: Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) is a recognised adverse consequence of cancer and its treatment. This study assessed the feasibility of collecting longitudinal data on cognition in patients with newly diagnosed, aggressive lymphoma undergoing standard therapy with curative intent via self-report, neuropsychological assessment, peripheral markers of inflammation, and neuroimaging. An exploration and description of patterns of cancer-related cognitive impairment over the course of treatment and recovery was also undertaken and will be reported separately. Methods: Eligible participants completed repeated measures of cognition including self-report and neuropsychological assessment, and correlates of cognition including blood cell–based inflammatory markers, and neuroimaging at three pre-specified timepoints, time 1 (T1) — pre-treatment (treatment naïve), time 2 (T2) — mid-treatment, and time 3 (T3) — 6 to 8 weeks post-completion of treatment. Results: 30/33 eligible patients (91%, 95% CI: 76%, 97%) were recruited over 10 months. The recruitment rate was 3 patients/month (95% CI: 2.0, 4.3 patients/month). Reasons for declining included feeling overwhelmed and rapid treatment commencement. Mean age was 57 years (SD = 17 years) and 16/30 (53%) were male. Most patients (20/30, 67%) had diffuse large B cell lymphoma or Hodgkin lymphoma (4/30, 13%). The neuroimaging sub-study was optional, 11/30 participants (37%) were eligible to take part, and all agreed. The remaining 19 participants were ineligible as their diagnostic PET/CT scan was completed prior. Retention and compliance with all assessments were 89 to 100% at all timepoints. Only one participant was withdrawn due to disease progression. Conclusions: Findings from this study including excellent recruitment, retention, and compliance rates demonstrate it is feasible to longitudinally assess cognition in people with newly diagnosed aggressive lymphoma during their initial treatment and recovery to inform the development of future research to improve patient experiences and cognitive outcomes.