Prognostic Factors for Long-Term Survival after Glioblastoma

Prognostic Factors for Long-Term Survival after Glioblastoma

Mohammad Sami Walid, MD, PhD

Fall 2008 - Volume 12 Number 4


Long-term survivors of glioblastoma (GB) are rare. Several variables besides tumor size and location determine a patient’s survival chances: age at diagnosis, where younger patients often receive more aggressive treatment that is multimodal; functional status, which has a significant negative correlation with age; and histologic and genetic markers.


Of the estimated 17,000 primary brain tumors diagnosed in the US each year, approximately 60% are gliomas.1,2 Glioblastoma (GB), or grade IV astrocytoma, is the most aggressive of primary tumors of the brain for which no cure is available.1,3 Management remains palliative and includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. With optimal treatment, patients with GBs have a median survival of less than one year.1 About 2% of patients survive three years.4 Previously reported long-term survivors (LTSs) of GB may have been patients who actually harbored other low-grade gliomas.5 The overall prognosis for GB has changed little since the 1980s, despite major improvements in neuroimaging, neurosurgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy techniques.


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