Cancer-related cognitive impairment, or CRCI, is common among certain cancer survivors, for example, individuals with breast cancer. CRCI usually presents as mild to moderate problems with memory and attention and can even persist long after cancer treatment has ended. Many have called this “chemobrain” or “chemofog” but research over the past three decades indicates that cancer itself, genetic vulnerabilities and treatments other than chemotherapy can lead to persistent CRCI.

Similar to patients treated with chemotherapy, patients with GIST are complaining about long-term side effects of Gleevec therapy with respect to cognitive function (“Gleevec brain”). Nevertheless, very little is known about CRCI in cancer patients who are being treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), like Gleevec, including patients with GIST.

This discussion reviewed CRCI in general, and how a person who is being treated for GIST could be affected. We also talked about strategies that can help ameliorate CRCI and discuss our new research on CRCI and GIST. Finally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we gave advice on how cancer survivors can best cope with and care for themselves during this unusual global health event.


About the Presenters:

We cannot provide individual medical advice during this webcast. Information provided in this webcast is not intended as a substitute for your physician’s guidance and care.