Incidence trends in the anatomic location of primary malignant brain tumors in the United States: 1992-2006

World Neurosurg. 2012 Mar-Apr;77(3-4):518-24. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2011.05.051. Epub 2011 Nov 7.


Background: This study sought to determine incidence trends of the anatomical origin of primary malignant brain tumors.

Methods: Incidence data for histologically confirmed brain tumors were obtained from the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program (LAC), the California Cancer Registry (CCR), and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program for 1992 to 2006. Age-adjusted incidence rates (AAIR) and annual percent changes (APC) were calculated by histologic subtypes and anatomic subsites. Statistical analyses were performed using the SEER*Stat analytic software and SAS statistical software.

Results: Increased AAIRs of frontal (APC +2.4% to +3.0%, P ≤ 0.001) and temporal (APC +1.3% to +2.3%, P ≤ 0.027) lobe glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors were observed across all registries, accompanied by decreased AAIRs in overlapping region GBMs (-2.0% to -2.8% APC, P ≤ 0.015). The AAIRs of GBMs in the parietal and occipital lobes remained stable. The AAIR of cerebellar GBMs increased according to CCR (APC +11.9%, P < 0.001). The AAIR of all gliomas, which includes all anatomical subsites, decreased (-0.5% to -0.8% APC, P ≤ 0.034). Low-grade and anaplastic astrocytomas demonstrated decreased AAIRs in the majority of brain regions.

Conclusions: Data from 3 major cancer registries demonstrate increased incidences of GBMs in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and cerebellum, despite decreased incidences in other brain regions. Although this may represent an effect of diagnostic bias, the incidence of both large and small tumors increased in these regions. The cause of these observed trends is unknown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Astrocytoma / epidemiology
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Glioblastoma / epidemiology
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioma / epidemiology*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult