Mission, for professionals
Several prospective, longitudinal clinical trials have been published that clearly demonstrate an adverse impact of cancer and cancer therapy on cognitive function. The incidence of cognitive dysfunction before therapy has ranged from 33% to over 80% in different cancer subtypes. Shortly after chemotherapy, worsening of cognitive function relative to the individual's pretreatment baseline is observed in up to 61% of breast cancer patients. Most studies in this area are relatively small and employ heterogeneous methodologies; thus, data on the incidence of treatment-related cognitive dysfunction are variable. Complicating the issue of identifying and screening patients for the presence or absence of cognitive dysfunction, either before or after treatment, is the finding that most studies have failed to find a relationship between patient reports of cognitive dysfunction and objectively-measured cognitive dysfunction.
A goal of the ICCTF is to create research recommendations and guidelines to increase the homogeneity of study methodology. This will help ensure minimal levels of acceptability in research design and facilitate between-study comparisons. This should help patients and professionals to determine more accurate estimates of incidence, severity, individual risk factors, and causes of cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. This will also support efforts toward the development of investigations into ways to prevent and intervene against these adverse symptoms.