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A Prospective Study of the Impact of Hippocampal Avoidance During Whole Brain Radiotherapy on Neurocognitive Function Decline

Study Purpose

Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) has long been a practical and effective therapeutic modality for various settings of management in radiation oncology. For example, the indications for WBRT should include brain metastasis or metastases, the setting of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) used mainly for patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer, and even some patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer. The rationales for WBRT are essentially based on that it can target both microscopic and gross intracranial disease. In addition to providing rapid alleviation of neurologic symptoms and enhanced intracranial disease control, WBRT might also prolong the time to develop neurocognitive function (NCF) decline. However, paradoxically NCF decline can also occur due to a sequel of WBRT. In terms of the time course of WBRT-induced NCF decline, it might vary considerably according to the specific domains which are selected to be measured. Early neurocognitive decline occurs within the first 1

  • - 4 months after WBRT for brain metastases.
The domains of early neurocognitive decline principally involve verbal and short-term memory recall. Since several decades ago, it has been understood that hippocampus plays an essential role in memory function. Not little evidence supports that radiation-induced damage to hippocampus should be strongly associated with NCF impairment. Furthermore, several studies have shown that isodose distribution in hippocampus is closely related to neurocognitive function in patients with benign or low-grade brain tumors. As a consequence, it is hypothesized that conformal hippocampal sparing during the course of WBRT (HS-WBRT) might provide significant preservation in terms of cognitive function. This prospective cohort study aims to explore and evaluate the impact of the delivery of HS-WBRT on the pattern of NCF change and the extent of NCF decline in patients receiving prophylactic or therapeutic WBRT. As compared with previous related and relevant studies, it will also be investigated whether neurocognitive functional preservation can be achieved via the integration of hippocampal sparing with the course of WBRT.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years - 84 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Patients with pathologically-confirmed non-hematopoietic malignancy who are referred for therapeutic or prophylactic WBRT.
  • - Good performance status no worse than Eastern Cooperative Group (ECOG) of 2 or a general status of Karnofsky Score (KPS) at least 70 % - The number and extent of brain metastatic lesions should be no more than three metastatic foci with a greatest diameter no more than 4 cm.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Patients with MRI-identified metastasis within 5 mm perihippocampally.
  • - Clinical suspicion of leptomeningeal spreading.
- History of prior radiotherapy including stereotactic radiosurgery delivered to brain/head region for any reasons

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Phase 2
Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Principal Investigator Affiliation N/A
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries Taiwan

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Brain Metastasis, Brain Metastases
Arms & Interventions


Experimental: Hippocampal-sparing WBRT

All studied patients should undergo a computed tomography (CT) simulation scan encompassing the entire head region with 1.25-mm slice thickness using a thermoplastic mask for immobilization. To achieve conformal hippocampal sparing during the delivery of whole brain radiation (WBRT), the technique of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) via Linac-based RapidArc®.In terms of dose prescription, a dose of 30 Gy in 12 fractions was prescribed to whole-brain planning target volume (PTV) if the role of RT was considered either adjuvant following craniotomy with tumor removal or therapeutic for treating oligometastatic brain disease.


Radiation: - hippocampal-sparing WBRT

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

International Sites

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan




Chang Gung Memorial Hospital

Taoyuan, , 333

Site Contact

Shinn-Yn Lin, M.D.

+886-33281200 #7172