Amyloid Plaque Deposition in Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Impairment

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Utah
Updated on 6 February 2023
adjuvant chemotherapy


The initial goal of the investigators interdisciplinary group of imagers, oncologists, neurologists, neuro-psychologists, and biostatisticians is to obtain proof of concept pilot data for eventual submission of a National Cancer Institute Quick-Trial for Imaging and Image-Guided Interventions: Exploratory Grant (R10) depending on the results of this pilot study.

The overall objective is to use [18F]Flutemetamol, FDG-PET, and MRI to better understand CICI, which effects up to 16 -50% of individuals receiving long-term adjuvant chemotherapy.2,3 To date there have been few studies examining this problem using multi-modality imaging techniques to better understand this complex and significant problem.

FDG-PET and MRI are routinely used in clinical practice for the evaluation of cognitive dysfunction in older populations complaining of memory dysfunction. It is well recognized that FDG-PET can assist with the differentiation and characterization of various cognitive disorders due to unique patterns of cerebral metabolism caused by various cognitive and dementia-causing disorders.4-6 FDG-PET has been studied extensively in dementia research and has a high reliability in detecting Alzheimers disease (AD) many years before it can be diagnosed reliably using clinical criteria.4

To the investigators knowledge, there has been only a single small study using FDG-PET and bolus water activation paradigms in cancer patients complaining of memory problems.7 To date, there have been no studies using [18F]Flutemetamol as a PET imaging agent to assess the possibility of increased amyloid plaque burden as a potential contributing factor to the cognitive deficits and complaints seen in patients experiencing CICI. The novel feature of this project is in the combined use of [18F]Flutemetamol-PET, FDG-PET, and anatomic MRI to study a poorly understood but common problem: cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.

If [18F]Flutemetamol, FDG-PET, and MRI can provide information on the pathophysiology of this disorder, it will be an important step in better understanding the etiology of this phenomenon and possibly other conditions resulting in cognitive dysfunction. These imaging assessments will make it possible to explore any altered changes in cerebral structure, metabolism, and amyloid deposition that may be responsible for CICI. This may help to predict which individuals may be affected by this problem and provide information for eventual therapeutic strategies to treat this common cancer-associated disorder.

This study will use [18F]Flutemetamol and FDG-PET imaging to assess and quantify the amyloid plaque burden and cerebral glucose metabolism, respectively, in breast cancer patients suffering from CICI and correlate those findings with structural changes on MRI. The [18F]Flutemetamol and FDG-PET scans of these study patients will then be compared to two GE software databases (CortexID-FDG and CortexID-Flutemetamol) which contain scan data from healthy control individuals to evaluate for abnormalities in cerebral glucose metabolism and amyloid plaque burden differing from the values expected for individuals in their age range.

Condition Breast Cancer
Treatment functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), FDG-PET, [18F]Flutemetamol, [18F]Flutemetamol, [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02317783
SponsorUniversity of Utah
Last Modified on6 February 2023

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