Avoiding the Hippocampus During Whole-Brain Radiotherapy Prevents Cognitive Side Effects
Whole-brain radiotherapy can be delivered more safely to patients with brain metastases by avoiding the hippocampus according to a randomized phase III NRG Oncology trial.
To study the hypothesis that radiation to the hippocampal stem cells plays a role in cognitive decline, 518 patients were randomized to whole brain radiotherapy plus memantine with or without hippocampal avoidance. The results of the clinical trial found a 26 percent relative reduction in risk of cognitive toxicity following whole brain radiation therapy with hippocampal avoidance versus whole brain radiotherapy. The cognitive function benefit of hippocampal avoidance did not differ by age.
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