Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 369–382 | Cite as

Brain functional connectivity in lung cancer population: an exploratory study

  • M. Simó
  • X. Rifà-Ros
  • L. Vaquero
  • P. Ripollés
  • N. Cayuela
  • J. Jové
  • A. Navarro
  • F. Cardenal
  • J. Bruna
  • Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells
Original Research


The present study aimed to explore the functional connectivity differences in Resting State Networks (RSNs) induced by cancer and chemotherapy in Lung Cancer (LC) patients using an Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Three matched groups of 15 LC patients following Chemotherapy (C+), 15 LC patients before Chemotherapy (C-) and 15 Healthy Controls (HC) were included. Analysis was performed using ICA and a multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to classify groups based on profiles of functional connectivity. We found significant differences in four of the RSN identified: Default Mode Network (DMN), Predominantly Left and Right Anterior Temporal Network, and Cerebellum Network. Whereas DMN showed decreased connectivity, the other RSNs exhibited increased connectivity in both LC groups compared to HC and in C+ in comparison to C-. MVPA discriminated significantly and accurately between all groups. Our study showed that disrupted functional connectivity associated with cancer and chemotherapy-induced cognitive deficits is not only related to DMN decreased connectivity abnormalities but also to an increased connectivity of other RSNs, suggesting a potential compensatory mechanism.

Graphical abstract


Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging Chemotherapy Lung cancer Default mode network Functional connectivity 


Compliance with ethical standards


This work was supported by la Fundació Marató-TV3 [Acquired Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries Program (2012–2015) awarded to ARF] and Hospital of Bellvitge Research Award 2016. Marta Simó is a recipient of a Juan Rodés contract from the Carlos III National Health Institute (Spanish Government)- European Social Fund (ESF).

Conflicts of interest

All the signing authors have seen and approved the manuscript content and there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

11682_2017_9697_Fig5_ESM.gif (89 kb)
Supplementary Figure 1 Overlapping functional and structural results between C+ and HC in right temporal regions. Significant differences between groups are reported at a FWE-corrected threshold at voxel level but displayed on a t-map and superimposed on a standardized T1 template using MNI coordinates at an uncorrected p ˂ 0.001 with a cluster extent of 20 voxels. Structural T1-Voxel-Based Morphometry (dark blue color) and Fractional Anisotropy-Voxel-Based Analysis (green color) results (Simo et al. 2015) are overlapped with the present functional connectivity results (red color). Overlap between structural maps occurred in insular regions and overlap between structural and functional occurred in middle temporal gyrus. ILF: inferior longitudinal fasciculus. MTG: middle temporal gyrus. (GIF 89 kb)
11682_2017_9697_MOESM1_ESM.tif (2.7 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 2787 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Simó
    • 1
    • 2
  • X. Rifà-Ros
    • 1
    • 3
  • L. Vaquero
    • 1
  • P. Ripollés
    • 1
    • 3
  • N. Cayuela
    • 2
  • J. Jové
    • 4
  • A. Navarro
    • 5
  • F. Cardenal
    • 6
  • J. Bruna
    • 2
  • Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells
    • 1
    • 3
    • 7
  1. 1.Cognition and Brain Plasticity GroupBellvitge Biomedical Research Institute-IDIBELLBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Neuro-Oncology UnitHospital Universitari de Bellvitge-ICO L’Hospitalet-IDIBELLBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Basic Psychology, Campus BellvitgeUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Radiation Oncology DepartmentHospital Germans Trias i Pujol, ICO BadalonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Lung Cancer Unit, Radiation Oncology DepartmentICO L’HospitaletBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Lung Cancer Unit, Medical Oncology DepartmentICO L’HospitaletBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced StudiesICREABarcelonaSpain

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