R.T. Valeeva1, M.G. Sharafutdinov1, S.V. Panchenko2

1Ulyanovsk State University, Ulyanovsk

2Regional Clinical Oncology Dispensary, Ulyanovsk

Valeeva Regina T. ― 6th year student of the T.Z. Biktimirov medical faculty of the Institute of medicine ecology and physical culture of Ulyanovsk State University

42 Lev Tolstoy Str., Ulyanovsk, 432970, Russian Federation, tel. +7-908-484-43-11, e-mail:


Introduction. Morbidity and mortality from malignant neoplasms is one of the main health problems, both in Russia and in the world. Moreover, the disappointing indicators are steadily growing. Of course, the need for high-quality treatment, including medicinal antitumor chemotherapy, is also increasing. Due to the systemic effects on the body, it is associated with a large number of side effects, including cognitive impairment. It is this condition that, as a result of drug antitumor therapy, has been called the «chemical fog» or «chemical brain» effect.

Objective ― to evaluate the effect of drug antitumor therapy on cognitive functions in patients with malignant neoplasms.

Material and methods. The base of the study is the chemotherapeutic department №2 of the Regional Clinical Oncology Dispensary of the city of Ulyanovsk. A total of 150 patients aged 22 to 79 years with malignant neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract, who underwent drug antitumor therapy, were examined. The average age of the patients was 60.40 (10.95) years. Cognitive function was assessed using the Short Mental Status Assessment Scale (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Impairment Assessment Scale (MoCA Test). The nonparametric statistical criterion Mann-Whitney U-test was used to compare groups of patients. Two groups of patients were used in the study. Group 1: patients who underwent less than 10 courses of drug antitumor therapy. Group 2: patients who have undergone more than 10 courses of drug antitumor therapy. The results are presented as the arithmetic mean and standard deviation (M (SD)).

Results. According to the data of the conducted studies, it was found that patients who underwent drug antitumor therapy show signs of cognitive impairment. Patients who have undergone less than 10 courses of antitumor therapy have mild cognitive impairment. The most severely affected blocks are such as recall, attention, and concentration. Patients who have undergone more than 10 courses of chemotherapy have moderate cognitive impairment. In addition to disorders of memory, attention and concentration, they have impaired orientation in space and time, as well as short-term memory.

Key words: oncology, «chemical fog», drug antitumor therapy, chemotherapy, cognitive disorders, complications.