Abstract

Objective: Examine the presence of processing speed (PS) and executive function (EF) late effects in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with chemotherapy-alone. Method: Subjects included 19 children and adolescents ages 10–19 treated with chemotherapy and in survivorship. Analysis used measures of PS including subtests from the WISC-IV and Differential Ability Scales – Second Edition (DAS-II) and parent and teacher ratings of EF using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). T-tests of child performance and ratings were compared to published norms. Multiple regression was used to analyze late effects risk factors (time since treatment completion, age at diagnosis and gender). Results: PS composite was significant, t(18) = −2.543, p = .01; as was the CD subtest, t(18) = −3.343, p = .002; and SIP, t(18) = −2.900, p = .005. Parent BRI ratings were significant, t(13) = 2.725, p = .007; as were the Shift, t(13) = 2.596, p = .0095; and Emotional Control scales, t(13) = 2.538, p = .0105. Teacher BRI ratings were also significan, t(13) = 2.385, p = .0165, as was the Shift scale, t(13) = 2.687, p = .0095. Time since treatment was the only risk factor predicting PS performance, β = .489, t(15) = 2.311, p = .035. Conclusion(s): Results: suggest ALL survivors exhibit late effects for PS, as well as parent and teacher ratings of EF. Results of better processing speed performance following increased time since the completion of treatment may involve neural plasticity.