Research Shows Temozolomide Has Potential to Increase Depression

Share this content:
Research with mice indicates that the chemotherapy drug temozolomide may increase depression in patients.
Research with mice indicates that the chemotherapy drug temozolomide may increase depression in patients.

The chemotherapy drug temozolomide, used to treat brain cancer, has the potential to increase depression, according to results of a study published in Translational Psychiatry.

Temozolomide is an antimitotic chemotherapy agent used to treat brain cancer, and in animal models of research, the agent used to decrease the growth of neurons in adults. Previous research indicates a connection between decreased neurogenesis and depression. Furthermore, depression tends to be underdiagnosed in patients with cancer.

In this study, mice were given temozolomide at a dose comparable to that used to treat brain cancer in adult humans.

One way to measure depression-like symptoms in mice is to assess how the animals process novelty. Mice given temozolomide experienced significant deficits in processing novelty. These mice also had significantly higher levels of the corticosterone stress response.

Researchers measured neurogenesis with a new approach to sectioning the brain so as to accurately differentiate dorsal and ventral neurogenesis. Results showed a significant correlation between decreased ventral neurogenesis and increased corticosterone response.

These results suggest a biological mechanism by which administration of temozolomide increases rates of depression; however, the researchers note that further research is needed.


1. Egeland M, Guinaudie C, Du Preez A, et al. Depletion of adult neurogenesis using the chemotherapy drug temozolomide in mice induces behavioural and biological changes relevant to depression [published online April 25, 2017]. Transl Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.68.

You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs