Background: Despite optimal treatment for patients with anaplastic gliomas, median survival is 2 to 5 years, but some young adults survive longer. We sought to evaluate the functional and employment status of long-term survivors (5 years or more) diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma or non-1p/19q co-deleted anaplastic oligoastrocytoma.
Methods: We retrospectively identified patients with a diagnosis of anaplastic glioma at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 1999 to 2005. We reviewed demographics, pathology, 1p/19q status, survival, and treatment. Overall survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: There were 195 patients; 167 with anaplastic astrocytoma and 28 with anaplastic oligoastrocytoma. All patients were observed either to death or last follow-up. Sixty-four patients (33%) were identified as long-term survivors; 58% of these were men. The median age of the long-term survivors was 39 years and the median Karnofsky Performance Score was 100 at diagnosis. Thirteen patients underwent stereotactic biopsy, 7 had a gross total resection, and 44 a subtotal resection. Fifty-four patients completed radiation therapy as initial treatment; 54 received chemotherapy. Five years following diagnosis, median KPS was 90 and 55% of long-term survivors were employed and remained fully functional.
Conclusions: One-third of patients with non-co-deleted anaplastic glioma were long-term survivors, and more than one-half of long-term survivors resumed their prior level of employment and activity. However, a significant proportion could not return to normal function. These findings have serious implications for the social and financial status of these predominantly young adult survivors.
Keywords: Anaplastic astrocytoma; anaplastic oligoastrocytoma; employment.
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