Background: Although implementation of temozolomide (TMZ) as a part of primary therapy for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has resulted in improved patient survival, the disease is still incurable. Previous studies have correlated various parameters to survival, although no single parameter has yet been identified. More studies and new approaches to identify the best and worst performing patients are therefore in great demand.
Methods: This study examined 225 consecutive, non-selected GBM patients with performance status (PS) 0-2 receiving postoperative radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant TMZ as primary therapy. At relapse, patients with PS 0-2 were mostly treated by reoperation and/or combination with bevacizumab/irinotecan (BEV/IRI), while a few received TMZ therapy if the recurrence-free period was >6 months.
Results: Median overall survival and time to progression were 14.3 and 8.0 months, respectively. Second-line therapy indicated that reoperation and/or BEV/IRI increased patient survival compared with untreated patients and that BEV/IRI was more effective than reoperation alone. Patient age, ECOG PS, and use of corticosteroid therapy were significantly correlated with patient survival and disease progression on univariate analysis, whereas p53, epidermal growth factor receptor, and O⁶-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase expression (all detected by immunohistochemistry), tumor size or multifocality, and extent of primary operation were not. A model based on age, ECOG PS, and corticosteroids use was able to predict survival probability for an individual patient.
Conclusion: The survival of RT/TMZ-treated GBM patients can be predicted based on patient age, ECOG PS, and corticosteroid therapy status.