Newly Diagnosed Multifocal GBM: A Monocentric Experience and Literature Review

Curr Oncol. 2022 May 11;29(5):3472-3488. doi: 10.3390/curroncol29050280.


Glioblastomas with multiple foci at presentation (mGBMs) account for 2-35% of all GBMs. mGBMs have limited existing data and no standardized treatment. This study aims to determine their incidence, demographic and clinical features, outcome, and prognostic factors in terms of overall survival. We performed a monocentric retrospective study, reviewing patients treated at the Istituto Oncologico Veneto. Inclusion criteria were: new diagnosis of GBM and presence of multiple lesions on pre-treatment MRI. ECOG PS was used to evaluate clinical condition, RANO criteria for radiological assessment, and CTCAE v5.0 for treatment-related adverse events. The incidence of newly diagnosed mGBM was 7.2% and the study population consisted of 98 patients. Median age was 63 years, M:F ratio of 1.8:1, and a surgical approach was undertaken in 73 patients (mostly partial resection). MGMT was methylated in 47.5%, and 82 patients received active oncological treatment (65.9% radiotherapy plus temozolomide (RT + TMZ)). The disease control rate with RT + TMZ was 63%. Median OS of the entire study population was 10.2 months (95% CI 6.6-13.8), and median PFS was 4.2 months (95% CI 3.2-5.2). The ECOG PS, the extent of resection, and the RT + TMZ were significant prognostic factors in the univariate analysis for OS, but only the RT + TMZ was a significant independent OS predictor in the multivariate analysis (HR = 3.1, 95% IC 1.3-7.7, p = 0.014). The incidence of mGBM is not rare. RT + TMZ is confirmed to be an independent prognostic factor for survival and a safe and effective treatment. When feasible, RT + TMZ should be considered as a possible first-line treatment. The role of the extent of resection is still unclear.

Keywords: glioblastoma; multicentric; multifocal; oncology; surgery; survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Dacarbazine* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Temozolomide / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Dacarbazine
  • Temozolomide

Grant support

This research received no external funding.