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