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, 46 (2), 183-8

Which Glioblastoma Multiforme Patient Will Become a Long-Term Survivor? A Population-Based Study

  • PMID: 10443883

Which Glioblastoma Multiforme Patient Will Become a Long-Term Survivor? A Population-Based Study

J N Scott et al. Ann Neurol.


In this clinical and histopathological study, the frequency of long-term glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) survivors (LTGBMSs) was determined in a population-based study. The Alberta Cancer Registry was used to identify all patients diagnosed with GBM in Alberta between January 1, 1975, and December 31, 1991. Patient charts were reviewed and histology reexamined. LTGBMSs were defined as GBM patients surviving 3 years after diagnosis. Each LTGBMS was compared with 3 age-, sex-, and year of diagnosis-matched controls, and patient/treatment or tumor characteristics that predicted long-term survival were determined. There were 689 GBMs diagnosed in the study period; 15 (2.2%) of these patients survived 3 years. LTGBMSs (average age, 43.5 +/- 3.3 years) were significantly younger when compared with all GBM patients (average age, 53.0 +/- 0.56 years). LTGBMSs had a higher Karnofsky Performance Status score at diagnosis compared with controls. LTGBMSs were much more likely to have had a gross total resection and adjuvant chemotherapy than control GBM patients. Tumors from LTGBMSs tended to have fewer mitoses and a significantly lower Ki-67 cellular proliferation index compared with controls. Radiation-induced dementia was common and disabling in LTG-BMSs. In conclusion, conventionally treated GBM patients in an unselected population have a very small chance of long-term survival. The use of aggressive surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy may make long-term survival more likely in GBM patients if their performance status is high at diagnosis.

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