Survival in glioblastoma: a review on the impact of treatment modalities

Clin Transl Oncol. 2016 Nov;18(11):1062-1071. doi: 10.1007/s12094-016-1497-x. Epub 2016 Mar 10.


Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal tumor of the central nervous system. The natural history of treated GBM remains very poor with 5-year survival rates of 5 %. Survival has not significantly improved over the last decades. Currently, the best that can be offered is a modest 14-month overall median survival in patients undergoing maximum safe resection plus adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Prognostic factors involved in survival include age, performance status, grade, specific markers (MGMT methylation, mutation of IDH1, IDH2 or TERT, 1p19q codeletion, overexpression of EGFR, etc.) and, likely, the extent of resection. Certain adjuncts to surgery, especially cortical mapping and 5-ALA fluorescence, favor higher rates of gross total resection with apparent positive impact on survival. Recurrent tumors can be offered re-intervention, participation in clinical trials, anti-angiogenic agent or local electric field therapy, without an evident impact on survival. Molecular-targeted therapies, immunotherapy and gene therapy are promising tools currently under research.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Glioblastoma; Prognosis; Radiotherapy; Survival; Tumor marker.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality*
  • Glioblastoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis