Epilepsy in the cancer patient.

Summary of "Epilepsy in the cancer patient."

Epileptic seizures in patients with malignancies usually occur as a consequence of brain metastases from systemic cancer or the presence of a primary brain tumor. Other less-frequent causes include metabolic disorders such as electrolyte abnormalities, hypoglycemia, hypoxia and liver failure, paraneoplastic encephalitis, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, side effects of certain chemotherapeutic agents, central nervous system infections, and pre-existing epilepsy.
We reviewed all published literature in the English language regarding the use of antiepileptic drugs in patients with cancer.
In patients with brain metastases or primary brain tumors that had never experienced seizures, prophylactic anticonvulsant treatment is justified only for a period up to 6 months postoperatively after surgical excision of a cerebral tumor, since approximately half of the patients will never develop seizures and the anti-epileptic drugs may cause toxicity and interactions with antineoplastic therapies. For brief prophylaxis, newer antiepileptic drugs such as levetiracetam and oxcarbazepine are superior to older agents like phenytoin. In patients with a malignancy and seizures, certain antiepileptic drugs that express tumor inhibitory properties should be used such as valproic acid and levetiracetam, followed by oxcarbazepine and topiramate that exhibit good tolerance, efficient seizure control and absence of significant interactions with the chemotherapy.
Future clinical trials in patients with cancer and epilepsy should focus on combinations of chemotherapeutic interventions with antiepileptic drugs that demonstrate antineoplastic activities.


Neurosurgical Research Institute, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece,

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology
ISSN: 1432-0843


DeepDyve research library

PubMed Articles [23593 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Medication prescribing and patient-reported outcome measures in people with epilepsy in Bhutan.

The aim of this study was to assess medication prescribing and patient-reported outcomes among people with epilepsy (PWE) in Bhutan and introduce criteria for evaluating unmet epilepsy care needs, par...

Number of patient-reported allergies helps distinguish epilepsy from psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are relatively common, accounting for 5-40% of visits to tertiary epilepsy centers. Inpatient video-electroencephalogram (vEEG) monitoring is the gold standard...

Triple pathological findings in a surgically amenable patient with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

Mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) is a well-recognized cause of intractable epilepsy; however, coexistence with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is less common. Middle fossa epidermoid cysts are rare and ...

Impact of patient navigation in eliminating economic disparities in cancer care.

Patient navigation may reduce cancer disparities associated with socioeconomic status (SES) and household factors. This study examined whether these factors were associated with delays in diagnostic r...

Epilepsy and art: Windows into complexity and comorbidities.

The views of artists with epilepsy as expressed through their art provide unique opportunities to gain understanding of the experiences of living with epilepsy and related comorbidities. This paper pr...

Clinical Trials [6354 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

A Study to Evaluate the Dosing, Effectiveness and Safety of Topiramate for the Treatment of Epilepsy

The purpose of this study is to identify patient characteristics (such as baseline seizure frequency) that may predict effective doses of topiramate using just that one drug (monotherapy) ...

Adverse Event Scale in Patients With Epilepsy (aEscape) - A European Survey for Physicians With Epilepsy Patients

The purpose of the survey is to explore through a structured interview and patient examination the rate and distribution of neurological and systemic adverse effects related to antiepilept...

Genetic Study of Familial Epilepsy

OBJECTIVES: I. Determine the chromosomal regions that contain genes that raise the risk of epilepsy in families by performing genetic linkage analysis of idiopathic/cryptogenic epilepsy.

Ketogenic Diet vs.Antiepileptic Drug Treatment in Drug Resistant Epilepsy

This is an open randomized controlled study in children with mental retardation and refractory epilepsy in which treatment with ketogenic diet (KD) is compared with treatment with the anti...

SANTE - Stimulation of the Anterior Nucleus of the Thalamus for Epilepsy

The purpose of this research is to study the safety and effectiveness of electrical stimulation to treat uncontrolled seizures in adults with epilepsy.

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A performance measure for rating the ability of a person to perform usual activities, evaluating a patient's progress after a therapeutic procedure, and determining a patient's suitability for therapy. It is used most commonly in the prognosis of cancer therapy, usually after chemotherapy and customarily administered before and after therapy. It was named for Dr. David A. Karnofsky, an American specialist in cancer chemotherapy.

A disorder characterized by the onset of myoclonus in adolescence, a marked increase in the incidence of absence seizures (see EPILEPSY, ABSENCE), and generalized major motor seizures (see EPILEPSY, TONIC-CLONIC). The myoclonic episodes tend to occur shortly after awakening. Seizures tend to be aggravated by sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption. Hereditary and sporadic forms have been identified. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p323)

A disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of paroxysmal brain dysfunction due to a sudden, disorderly, and excessive neuronal discharge. Epilepsy classification systems are generally based upon: (1) clinical features of the seizure episodes (e.g., motor seizure), (2) etiology (e.g., post-traumatic), (3) anatomic site of seizure origin (e.g., frontal lobe seizure), (4) tendency to spread to other structures in the brain, and (5) temporal patterns (e.g., nocturnal epilepsy). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p313)

A cancer registry mandated under the National Cancer Act of 1971 to operate and maintain a population-based cancer reporting system, reporting periodically estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in the United States. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program is a continuing project of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Among its goals, in addition to assembling and reporting cancer statistics, are the monitoring of annual cancer incident trends and the promoting of studies designed to identify factors amenable to cancer control interventions. (From National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 91-3074, October 1990)

Nursing care provided cancer patients. It includes aspects of family functioning through education of both patient and family. The specialty of oncologic nursing focuses on cancer as a major health care problem.

Quick Search

DeepDyve research library

Relevant Topics

Epilepsy is defined as a disorder of brain function characterized by recurrent seizures that have a sudden onset.  (Oxford Medical Dictionary).  A seizure is caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain, causing a tempora...

Head and neck cancers
Cancer can occur in any of the tissues or organs in the head and neck. There are over 30 different places that cancer can develop in the head and neck area. Mouth cancers (oral cancers)  - Mouth cancer can develop on the lip, the tongue, the floor...

Searches Linking to this Article