Donepezil Not Beneficial for Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer Survivors

No beneficial effect seen for breast cancer survivors with memory problems one to five years after completing chemotherapy
yellow pills
Adobe Stock
Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, May 24, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A once-daily dose of donepezil does not improve cognitive function among breast cancer survivors exposed to chemotherapy one to five years earlier, according to a study published online May 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Stephen R. Rapp, Ph.D., from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues examined the efficacy of the cognitive enhancer donepezil for improving memory in breast cancer survivors who report cancer-related cognitive impairment one to five years after chemotherapy. Adult female breast cancer survivors exposed to four or more cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy one to five years before enrollment were eligible and randomly assigned to receive 5 mg donepezil once daily for six weeks titrated to 10 mg once daily for 18 weeks or placebo (140 and 136 participants, respectively).

The researchers found that the treatment groups did not differ in terms of Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised scores at 24 weeks (mean, 25.98 and 26.50 for donepezil and placebo, respectively). No statistically significant differences were seen between treatments for attention, executive function, verbal fluency, processing speed, or self-reported cognitive functioning at 12, 24, or 36 weeks. The results were not affected by endocrine therapy or menopausal status.

"We found that the participants did not perform differently at the end of treatment on tests of memory, other cognitive functions, or subjective functioning than those randomly assigned to placebo," Rapp said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

No stories found.