High Grade Glioma Treatment in Elderly People: Is It Different Than in Younger Patients? Analysis of Surgical Management Guided by an Intraoperative Multimodal Approach and Its Impact on Clinical Outcome

Front Oncol. 2021 Feb 24:10:631255. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.631255. eCollection 2020.


Objective: Age is considered a negative prognostic factor for High Grade Gliomas (HGGs) and many neurosurgeons remain skeptical about the benefits of aggressive treatment. New surgical and technological improvements may allow extended safe resection, with lower level of post-operative complications. This opportunity opens the unsolved question about the most appropriate HGG treatment in elderly patients. The aim of this study is to analyze if HGG maximal safe resection guided by an intraoperative multimodal imaging protocol coupled with neuromonitoring is associated with differences in outcome in elderly patients versus younger ones.

Methods: We reviewed 100 patients, 53 (53%) males and 47 (47%) females, with median (IQR) age of 64 (57; 72) years. Eight patients were diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma (AA), 92 with Glioblastoma (GBM). Surgery was aimed to achieve safe maximal resection. An intraoperative multimodal imaging protocol, including neuronavigation, neurophysiological monitoring, 5-ALA fluorescence, 11C MET-PET, navigated i-US system and i-CT, was used, and its impact on EOTR and clinical outcome in elderly patients was analyzed. We divided patients in two groups according to their age: <65 and >65 years, and surgical and clinical results (EOTR, post-operative KPS, OS and PFS) were compared. Yet, to better understand age-related differences, the same patient cohort was also divided into <70 and >70 years and all the above data reanalyzed.

Results: In the first cohort division, we did not found KPS difference over time and survival analysis did not show significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.36 for OS and p = 0.49 for PFS). Same results were obtained increasing the age cut-off for age up to 70 years (p = 0.52 for OS and p = 0.92 for PFS).

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that there is not statistically significant difference in post-operative EOTR, KPS, OS, and PFS between younger and elderly patients treated with extensive tumor resection aided by a intraoperative multimodal protocol.

Keywords: 5ALA; ICT; IOUS; brain tumor; elderly; geriatric population; glioblastoma; glioma.