Disrupted brain network functional dynamics and hyper-correlation of structural and functional connectome topology in patients with breast cancer prior to treatment BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR Kesler, S. R., Adams, M., Packer, M., Rao, V., Henneghan, A. M., Blayney, D. W., Palesh, O. 2017; 7 (3)


Several previous studies have demonstrated that cancer chemotherapy is associated with brain injury and cognitive dysfunction. However, evidence suggests that cancer pathogenesis alone may play a role, even in non-CNS cancers.Using a multimodal neuroimaging approach, we measured structural and functional connectome topology as well as functional network dynamics in newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer. Our study involved a novel, pretreatment assessment that occurred prior to the initiation of any cancer therapies, including surgery with anesthesia. We enrolled 74 patients with breast cancer age 29-65 and 50 frequency-matched healthy female controls who underwent anatomic and resting-state functional MRI as well as cognitive testing.Compared to controls, patients with breast cancer demonstrated significantly lower functional network dynamics (p = .046) and cognitive functioning (p < .02, corrected). The breast cancer group also showed subtle alterations in structural local clustering and functional local clustering (p < .05, uncorrected) as well as significantly increased correlation between structural global clustering and functional global clustering compared to controls (p = .03). This hyper-correlation between structural and functional topologies was significantly associated with cognitive dysfunction (p = .005).Our findings could not be accounted for by psychological distress and suggest that non-CNS cancer may directly and/or indirectly affect the brain via mechanisms such as tumor-induced neurogenesis, inflammation, and/or vascular changes, for example. Our results also have broader implications concerning the importance of the balance between structural and functional connectome properties as a potential biomarker of general neurologic deficit.

View details for DOI 10.1002/brb3.643

View details for Web of Science ID 000397564200014

View details for PubMedID 28293478