Dexamethasone, a highly effective drug in treating pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), can induce serious neurobehavioral side effects, which are experienced as most detrimental with respect to quality of life by patients and parents. Based on previous studies it has been suggested that these side effects are caused by cortisol depletion of the mineralocorticoid receptor in the brain. Our recently reported randomized controlled trial, the DexaDagen-1 study, showed that clinically relevant neurobehavioral problems decrease by hydrocortisone addition during dexamethasone treatment. Validation of these results is required in a selected larger sample before further implementing this treatment into clinical practice.
Annelienke is supervised by Prof. Dr. M.M. van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Prof. Dr. M.A. Grootenhuis and Dr. E.L.T. van den Akker (Erasmus MC).