Second surgery for recurrent glioblastoma: A concise overview of the current literature

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2016 Mar;142:60-64. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2016.01.010. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


Optimal treatment for recurrent glioblastoma continues to evolve. Currently, however, there is no consensus in the literature on the role of reoperation in the management of these patients, as several studies provide evidence for a longer overall survival in selected patients with recurrent glioblastoma who underwent second surgery and other studies report a limited impact of second surgery in the clinical course. In this paper, a review of the current literature was performed to analyze the role of reoperation in patients with recurrent glioblastoma and to report the overall survival from diagnosis, progression-free survival and quality of life. Using PubMed and Ovid Medline databases, we performed a review of the literature of the last seven years, finding a total of 28 studies and 2279 patients who underwent second surgery, that were included in the final analysis. The median overall survival from diagnosis and the median survival from second surgery were 18.5 months and 9.7 months, respectively. Extent of resection at reoperation improves overall survival, even in patients with subtotal resection at initial operation. Preoperative performance status and age are important predictors of a longer survival, reason why younger patients with a good preoperative performance status could benefit from reoperation.

Keywords: Glioblastoma; Overall survival; Progression-free survival; Recurrent glioblastoma; Reoperation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Glioblastoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reoperation*