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Neuro Oncol. 2004 Jul;6(3):227-35.

Prognostic factors for survival of patients with glioblastoma: recursive partitioning analysis.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0112, USA. lambornk@neurosurg.ucsf.edu


Survival for patients with glioblastoma multiforme is short, and current treatments provide limited benefit. Therefore, there is interest in conducting phase 2 trials of experimental treatments in newly diagnosed patients. However, this requires historical data with which to compare the experimental therapies. Knowledge of prognostic markers would also allow stratification into risk groups for phase 3 randomized trials. In this retrospective study of 832 glioblastoma multiforme patients enrolled into prospective clinical trials at the time of initial diagnosis, we evaluated several potential prognostic markers for survival to establish risk groups. Analyses were done using both Cox proportional hazards modeling and recursive partitioning analyses. Initially, patients from 8 clinical trials, 6 of which included adjuvant chemotherapy, were included. Subsequent analyses excluded trials with interstitial brachytherapy, and finally included only nonbrachytherapy trials with planned adjuvant chemotherapy. The initial analysis defined 4 risk groups. The 2 lower risk groups included patients under the age of 40, the lowest risk group being young patients with tumor in the frontal lobe only. An intermediate-risk group included patients with Karnofsky performance status (KPS) >70, subtotal or total resection, and age between 40 and 65. The highest risk group included all patients over 65 and patients between 40 and 65 with either KPS<80 or biopsy only. Subgroup analyses indicated that inclusion of adjuvant chemotherapy provides an increase in survival, although that improvement tends to be minimal for patients over age 65, for patients over age 40 with KPS less than 80, and for those treated with brachytherapy.

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