Purpose: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive type of glioma and has the poorest survival. However, a small percentage of patients with GBM survive well beyond the established median. Therefore, identifying the genetic variants that influence this small number of unusually long-term survivors may provide important insight into tumor biology and treatment.
Patients and methods: Among 590 patients with primary GBM, we evaluated associations of survival with the 100 top-ranking glioma susceptibility single nucleotide polymorphisms from our previous genome-wide association study using Cox regression models. We also compared differences in genetic variation between short-term survivors (STS; <or= 12 months) and long-term survivors (LTS; >or= 36 months), and explored classification and regression tree analysis for survival data. We tested results using two independent series totaling 543 GBMs.
Results: We identified LIG4 rs7325927 and BTBD2 rs11670188 as predictors of STS in GBM and CCDC26 rs10464870 and rs891835, HMGA2 rs1563834, and RTEL1 rs2297440 as predictors of LTS. Further survival tree analysis revealed that patients >or= 50 years old with LIG4 rs7325927 (V) had the worst survival (median survival time, 1.2 years) and exhibited the highest risk of death (hazard ratio, 17.53; 95% CI, 4.27 to 71.97) compared with younger patients with combined RTEL1 rs2297440 (V) and HMGA2 rs1563834 (V) genotypes (median survival time, 7.8 years).
Conclusion: Polymorphisms in the LIG4, BTBD2, HMGA2, and RTEL1 genes, which are involved in the double-strand break repair pathway, are associated with GBM survival.