National University Singapore Research Uncovers Biomarkers Associated with Chemobrain

May 14, 2019 | Biomarker, Cancer, Chemobrain, Oncology


Chemobrain represents a challenge with some cancer patients who struggle with memory related issues. The ability to identify patients who are at risk for chemobrain; to offer some form of standardized quantitative biomarker– would help physicians implement superior standards of care.

The National University of Singapore, led by Alexandre Chan of the pharmacy department, has led to chemobrain biomarker research breakthroughs.  Professor Chan noted” by identifying the clinically relevant factors which pre-dispose patients to chemobrain more appropriate interventions can be tailored accordingly to patients who are at a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment.”

Most recently the Singapore group characterized plasma levels of the biomarker dehydroepiandrosterone  and its sulfated form—jointly referred to as DHEAS—to be the biological determinants of chemobrain.  DHEA(S) are neurosteroids that help to regulated brain development, but researchers didn’t know previously whether their levels correlate with cognitive function or are associated with the onset of chemobrain.

The study showed that early-stage breast cancer patients with higher plasma DHEAS levels prior to chemotherapy had a lower risk of developing chemobrain in the specific domains of verbal fluency and mental acuity.  Follow the link for the entire interesting story posted on the National University of Singapore news site.

Lead Research/Investigator

Alexandre Chan


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