Cognitive assessment in patients treated by immunotherapy: the prospective Cog-Immuno trial

Marie Lange, Bénédicte Clarisse, Alexandra Leconte, Kléouforo Paul Dembélé, Justine Lequesne, Celeste Nicola, Martine Dubois, Laurence Derues, Yori Gidron, Hélène Castel, Florence Joly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The discovery of the importance of the immune system and its role in oncogenesis led to the development of immunotherapy, a treatment that represents a major advance in oncology management. Due to the recent nature of immunotherapy, little is known about its side effects and their impact on quality of life. To date, there is no published study that accurately assesses the impact of immunotherapy on cognition, mood and/or fatigue in patients treated for cancer, despite potential neurological toxicities. The purpose of this study is to prospectively assess the incidence of cognitive impairment and cognitive complaints among cancer patients naïve for immunotherapy without concomitant anti-cancer treatment. Methods: The Cog-Immuno trial is a multicentre longitudinal study addressing patients with cancer candidate to receive immunotherapy alone (n = 100). Immunotherapy treatment will include either anti-PD1/PDL1 or anti-CTLA4 monotherapy or combination therapy. Cognitive and quality of life assessment, electrocardiogram (ECG) and biological tests will be performed at baseline, thereafter 3, and 6 months after immunotherapy initiation. The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients treated by immunotherapy who will experience a decline in cognitive performances or in Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score within 3 months after inclusion. Secondary endpoints concern: anxiety, depression, fatigue, clinical characteristics, biological data and neurophysiological measures (heart rate variability and hemispheric lateralization). A pre-clinical study will be conducted in cancer bearing mice receiving checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) with the evaluation of cognitive functions and emotional reactivity, collection of blood samples and investigation of neurobiological mechanisms from brain slices. Discussion: Assessing and understanding the incidence and the severity of cognitive impairment and its impact on quality of life in cancer patients treated by immunotherapy is a major issue. The results of this study will provide information on the impact of these treatments on cognitive functions in order to help the physicians in the choice of the treatment. Trial registration: NCT03599830, registered July 26, 2018. Protocol version: Version 5.1 dated from 2020/10/02.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1308
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2022


  • Blood biomarkers
  • Cancer
  • Cognition
  • Immunotherapy
  • Preclinical model

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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