Sex-specific Impact of Patterns of Imageable Tumor Growth on Survival of Primary Glioblastoma Patients

BMC Cancer. 2020 May 19;20(1):447. doi: 10.1186/s12885-020-06816-2.

Abstract

Background: Sex is recognized as a significant determinant of outcome among glioblastoma patients, but the relative prognostic importance of glioblastoma features has not been thoroughly explored for sex differences.

Methods: Combining multi-modal MR images, biomathematical models, and patient clinical information, this investigation assesses which pretreatment variables have a sex-specific impact on the survival of glioblastoma patients (299 males and 195 females).

Results: Among males, tumor (T1Gd) radius was a predictor of overall survival (HR = 1.027, p = 0.044). Among females, higher tumor cell net invasion rate was a significant detriment to overall survival (HR = 1.011, p < 0.001). Female extreme survivors had significantly smaller tumors (T1Gd) (p = 0.010 t-test), but tumor size was not correlated with female overall survival (p = 0.955 CPH). Both male and female extreme survivors had significantly lower tumor cell net proliferation rates than other patients (M p = 0.004, F p = 0.001, t-test).

Conclusion: Despite similar distributions of the MR imaging parameters between males and females, there was a sex-specific difference in how these parameters related to outcomes.

Keywords: Biomathematical models; Glioblastoma; Neuroimaging; Sex differences.