Research Papers:

Altered network efficiency of functional brain networks in patients with breast cancer after chemotherapy

Han Xuan, Chen Gan, Wen Li, Zhonglian Huang, Longsheng Wang, Qianqian Jia, Zhendong Chen _ and Huaidong Cheng

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:105648-105661. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22358

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Han Xuan1,*, Chen Gan1,*, Wen Li1, Zhonglian Huang1, Longsheng Wang1, Qianqian Jia1, Zhendong Chen1 and Huaidong Cheng1,*

1Department of Oncology, Cancer and Cognition Laboratory, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zhendong Chen, email: [email protected]

Huaidong Cheng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer; network; cognitive function; MRI; chemotherapy

Received: July 05, 2017     Accepted: August 17, 2017     Published: November 09, 2017


Objective: To investigate the topological organization of functional brain networks in chemotherapy-treated breast cancer (BC) patients with source memory impairment.

Methods: Twenty-eight patients with BCfollowingchemotherapyand40age-and education-matched healthy controls (HCs) were recruited in the current study. All participants underwent source memory tests and resting-state functional MRI scans. Individual whole-brain functional brain networks were constructed and analyzed using graph-based network approaches.

Results: Compared with the HCs, the BC patients showed lower scores in the source memory tests (P < 0.001).Graph-based analyses revealed that the patients showed higher absolute global and local efficiency (both P < 0.01) but lower normalized global and normalized local efficiency (both P< 0.001) compared with the HCs. Locally, several prefrontal, occipital, and parietal regions exhibited higher nodal efficiency and functional connectivity in the patients(P< 0.05, corrected). Finally, positive correlations were observed between normalized global efficiency and Mini-Mental State Examination scores (r = 0.398, P = 0.036) and between normalized local efficiency and the source memory scores (r = 0.497, P = 0.01) in the patients.

Conclusion: Chemotherapy-treated BC is associated with abnormal organization of large-scale functional brain networks, which could account for source memory dysfunction in patients with BC.

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