Neurocognitive Dysfunction and predictors in non-CNS cancer patients: Rationale and methods for the neuro-oncology research at a South African academic hospital

Antonio G. Lentoor, Tiro Bright Motsamai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The focus on central nervous system (CNS) malignancies has overshadowed scant but substantial research that suggests non-central nervous cancer patients experience cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI), which affects higher-order brain function and influences their quality of life. Despite such evidence of the occurrence of CRCI among non-CNS cancer patients, the factors associated with the CRCIs remain a highly debated issue with discrepancies noted. Whether non-CNS cancer itself can affect the brain independent of cancer treatment is an important question to unpack. This necessitates further research, particularly in the sub-Saharan region where the evidence is limited. Methods: This study aims to assess the effect of chemotherapy-associated cognitive and affective changes in non-CNS cancer patients. A non-experimental, time-series, correlational design will be used, in which a battery of computerized neuropsychological tests will be administered, including the e-MoCA, the CNS Vital Signs, the Patient Health Questionnaire-4, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue, and the Semi-structured Interview Schedule. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis will be conducted, as well as NVivo thematic analysis of the qualitative data. The scope of the neurocognitive issues and risk factors that may be present in cancer patients and survivors in a developing environment could be determined by this study. Implications: The study is expected to extend research on the extent at which cancer and cancer treatments are associated with neurocognitive changes among non-CNS cancer patients and their impact on their quality of life in the local context. The results are expected to inform treatment providers to develop treatment guidelines tailored for individuals diagnosed with cancer and who have received cancer treatment, as well as individualized psychosocial interventions aimed at addressing psychological challenges associated with quality of life among cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23007
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychology
  • Non-CNS
  • South Africa


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