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Neuro Oncol. 2011 Jul;13(7):783-90. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nor052.

A multicenter study of primary brain tumor incidence in Australia (2000-2008).

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Australian National University, Sydney, Australia.


There are conflicting reports from Europe and North America regarding trends in the incidence of primary brain tumor, whereas the incidence of primary brain tumors in Australia is currently unknown. We aimed to determine the incidence in Australia with age-, sex-, and benign-versus-malignant histology-specific analyses. A multicenter study was performed in the state of New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which has a combined population of >7 million with >97% rate of population retention for medical care. We retrospectively mined pathology databases servicing neurosurgical centers in NSW and ACT for histologically confirmed primary brain tumors diagnosed from January 2000 through December 2008. Data were weighted for patient outflow and data completeness. Incidence rates were age standardized and trends analyzed using joinpoint analysis. A weighted total of 7651 primary brain tumors were analyzed. The overall US-standardized incidence of primary brain tumors was 11.3 cases 100 000 person-years (±0.13; 95% confidence interval, 9.8-12.3) during the study period with no significant linear increase. A significant increase in primary malignant brain tumors from 2000 to 2008 was observed; this appears to be largely due to an increase in malignant tumor incidence in the ≥65-year age group. This collection represents the most contemporary data on primary brain tumor incidence in Australia. Whether the observed increase in malignant primary brain tumors, particularly in persons aged ≥65 years, is due to improved detection, diagnosis, and care delivery or a true change in incidence remains undetermined. We recommend a direct, uniform, and centralized approach to monitoring primary brain tumor incidence that can be independent of multiple interstate cancer registries.

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