Neurocognitive functioning and health-related quality of life in adult medulloblastoma patients: long-term outcomes of the NOA-07 study

Linda Dirven, Ralf Luerding, Dagmar Beier, Elisabeth Bumes, Christiane Reinert, Clemens Seidel, Matteo Mario Bonsanto, Michael Bremer, Stefan Rieken, Stephanie E. Combs, Ulrich Herrlinger, Corinna Seliger, Holger Kuntze, Regine Mayer-Steinacker, Annette Dieing, Claudius Bartels, Oliver Schnell, Astrid Weyerbrock, Sabine Seidel, Oliver GrauerMinou Nadji-Ohl, Frank Paulsen, Michael Weller, Wolfgang Wick, Peter Hau*

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Combined radiochemotherapy followed by maintenance chemotherapy with cisplatin, lomustine and vincristine within the NOA-07 study resulted in considerable short-term toxicity in adult medulloblastoma patients. Here we investigated the long-term impact of this treatment, focusing on neurocognitive functioning and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Methods: Neurocognitive functioning and HRQoL scores over time were determined, and differences between the post-treatment and follow-up assessments were calculated up to 18 months for neurocognition and 60 months for HRQoL. Results: 28/30 patients were analyzed. The three preselected HRQoL scales (role, social and cognitive functioning) showed improved scores, to a clinically relevant extent (≥ 10 points), compared to post-treatment levels up to 30 months, but decreased afterwards. Z-scores for verbal working memory were worse during follow-up compared to post-treatment scores and remained impaired during 18 months follow-up (i.e. z-score below − 1 standard deviation). Attention was impaired post-treatment, and remained impaired to a clinically relevant extent during follow-up. Coordination/processing speed and lexical verbal fluency improved compared to post-treatment scores, and remained within the normal range thereafter. Other tests of verbal fluency were stable over time, with z-scores within the normal range. Conclusions: This long-term follow-up study showed that the NOA-07 treatment regimen was not associated with a deterioration in HRQoL in the post-treatment period. Verbal working memory deteriorated, while other neurocognitive domains did not seem to be impacted negatively by the treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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