Introduction Long-term survivors (LTS) with ovarian cancer may be cured but frequently face long-term side effects. Among the most common long-term side effects are chemotherapy induced polyneuropathy (CIPN) and post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment (PCCI) which are not routinely assessed during follow-up despite their high impact on quality of life. Aim of this study was to analyze CIPN and PCCI in long-term survivors with ovarian cancer.
Methods Long-term survival was defined as survival ≥ 8 years. Time to last chemotherapy had to be at least four weeks ago. Neurological examinations, measurement of nerve conduction velocity and standardized sniffing tests were performed. PCCI was assessed using neuropsychological testing and correlated to age-matched controls.
Results 44 LTS with a median age of 62 years were recruited. Most LTS (68.2%) had been initially diagnosed with ovarian cancer in advanced stages (FIGO III-VI) and 64% developed recurrent disease with a median of 2.0 recurrences. Median time after chemotherapy was 95.0 months (range: 3–264 months). Polyneuropathy symptoms were reported by 45.5% and CIPN could be confirmed in 41%. Hyposmia was diagnosed in 68% (n=28) while 42.9% recognized a decrease of olfactory function themselves. Regarding PCCI, long-term memory was impaired in 23%, short-term memory in 18% and working memory in 26%.
Conclusion PCCI and CIPN are frequently diagnosed in LTS and should be regularly addressed during follow–up. Prevention strategies and treatment options should be evaluated in future trials to improve quality of life.
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