Oxidative stress and neurobehavioral problems in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients undergoing chemotherapy

Stephanie L. Stenzel, Kevin R. Krull, Marilyn Hockenberry, Neelam Jain, Kris Kaemingk, Petra Miketova, Ida M. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Neurobehavioral problems after chemotherapy treatment for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have been a recent focus of investigation. This study extended previous research that suggested oxidative stress as a potential mechanism for chemotherapy-induced central nervous system injury by examining early markers of oxidative stress in relation to subsequent neurobehavioral problems. Oxidized and unoxidized components of phosphatidylcholine (PC) were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid of 87 children with ALL at diagnosis, induction, and consolidation. Behavioral assessments were conducted postconsolidation and at the end of chemotherapy. Results revealed a significant association between physiologic reactivity (high vs. low PC changes from diagnosis) and behavioral outcomes (high vs. low pathology). Elevated oxidized PC fraction change was predictive of increased problems with aggression at the end of therapy as well as postconsolidation adaptability. Furthermore, symptoms of hyperactivity systematically changed over time in relation to both unoxidized PC and oxidized PC fraction reactivity. These findings suggest that symptoms of behavioral problems occur early in the course of chemotherapy and that increases in the cerebrospinal fluid PC markers of oxidative stress during induction and consolidation may help to predict certain future behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Neurobehavioral outcomes
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pediatric leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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