Hongyan Yang, Michael Chopp and Timothy Schallert
The limited success of current treatment options that attempt to shrink brain tumors, along with the accompanying compromised quality of remaining life, raise increasing concerns about the adverse effects of cancer treatment on brain function. Some aggressive cancer treatments can directly damage normal brain tissue that surrounds the tumor, while other regulatory paradigms may harm neuroplastic mechanisms which are important in functional recovery. Functional outcome is a major target in clinical trials, but seems to be neglected in translational brain tumor research. Some recent research has started to fill the critical behavioral void in this field. Optimal treatment strategies would cure the disease and save life without reducing the integrity of the brain. Furthermore, neurorehabilitative treatments are needed to repair the damage caused by not only brain tumors but also conventional cancer treatment approaches.