Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Herpesviridae. 2012 Mar 16;3:3. doi: 10.1186/2042-4280-3-3.

Low levels of Human Cytomegalovirus Infection in Glioblastoma multiforme associates with patient survival; -a case-control study.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Solna, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.



Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) represent the most aggressive brain tumor with a median overall survival of about 12-15 months. Over 90% of GBM tumors have recently been shown to be infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). In this case-control study, we evaluated whether there was an association between the grade of HCMV infection and long-term survival (> 18 months) in GBM patients.


Brain tumor tissue sections from consecutive GBMs patients who survived more than 18 months (n = 40), and an equal number of GBM patients, matched to date of diagnosis and surgery, operated at Karolinska University Hospital in 2000-2005 were selected. HCMV infection grade was determined by estimation of the number of HCMV positive cells (scored negative or grade 1-4) in tumor tissue specimens. Using Chi-Square test and logistic regression analysis, we analyzed whether there was an association between long-term survival and HCMV low-grade infection or other clinical parameters known to be associated with prolonged survival of GBM patients; age under 50 years, radical surgery or low recursive partition analysis (RPA) subclass.


HCMV infection was detected in tumor samples from 79 of 80 patients (99%). Among patients surviving > 18 months, HCMV infection grade 1 in the GBM tumor was predominant. A low grade HCMV infection was found in 19 patients, of these 16 survived > 18 months. Thus, 16 of 40 (40%) GBM patients who lived > 18 months had low-grade HCMV infection while only 3 of 40 (8%) GBM patients who lived < 18 months did (p .0006, Chi-Square test). Multiple logistic regression analyses yielded an odds ratio estimate of 6.604 with 95% confidence interval (1.36-32.1) (p .019) for low grade HCMV after adjustment for RPA class III and IV, radical surgery, age and gamma knife treatment.


In conclusion, we found that low-grade HCMV infection was strongly associated with long-term survival in GBM patients.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center