Stable glioma incidence and increased patient survival over the past two decades in Norway: a nationwide registry-based cohort study

Acta Oncol. 2024 Mar 19:63:83-94. doi: 10.2340/1651-226X.2024.24970.


Background: Surveillance of incidence and survival of central nervous system tumors is essential to monitor disease burden and epidemiological changes, and to allocate health care resources. Here, we describe glioma incidence and survival trends by histopathology group, age, and sex in the Norwegian population.

Material and methods: We included patients with a histologically verified glioma reported to the Cancer Registry of Norway from 2002 to 2021 (N = 7,048). Population size and expected mortality were obtained from Statistics Norway. Cases were followed from diagnosis until death, emigration, or 31 December 2022, whichever came first. We calculated age-standardized incidence rates (ASIR) per 100,000 person-years and age-standardized relative survival (RS). Results: The ASIR for histologically verified gliomas was 7.4 (95% CI: 7.3-7.6) and was higher for males (8.8; 95% CI: 8.5-9.1) than females (6.1; 95% CI: 5.9-6.4). Overall incidence was stable over time. Glioblastoma was the most frequent tumor entity (ASIR = 4.2; 95% CI: 4.1-4.4). Overall, glioma patients had a 1-year RS of 63.6% (95% CI: 62.5-64.8%), and a 5-year RS of 32.8% (95% CI: 31.6-33.9%). Females had slightly better survival than males. For most entities, 1- and 5-year RS improved over time (5-year RS for all gliomas 29.0% (2006) and 33.1% (2021), p < 0.001). Across all tumor types, the RS declined with increasing age at diagnosis.

Interpretation: The incidence of gliomas has been stable while patient survival has increased over the past 20 years in Norway. As gliomas represent a heterogeneous group of primary CNS tumors, regular reporting from cancer registries at the histopathology group level is important to monitor disease burden and allocate health care resources in a population.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glioma* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Registries