Long-term survivors of glioblastoma: a closer look

Lucy Gately, Sue-Anne McLachlan, Jennifer Philip, Jeremy Ruben, Anthony Dowling

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Glioblastoma has a poor prognosis with median survival of 12–14 months. Long-term survivors (LTS), alive at least 2 years from diagnosis, comprise 13% of this population. This study aims to provide a clinical profile of LTS at two institutions in Melbourne, Australia. Histological diagnosis of glioblastoma from 1st January 2006 to 31st December 2012 were identified from pathology/oncology databases. Demographic, treatment and survival characteristics were recorded (follow-up to 31st December 2015). Relevant inter-group statistics were used to identify differences between LTS and those surviving less than 2 years. Survival estimated by Kaplan–Meier. 776 patients were identified with 154 surviving CloseSPigtSPi 2 years. Compared with patients surviving OpenSPiltSPi 2 years, LTS were more likely to be younger (median age 56 vs. 65 years, p OpenSPiltSPi.001), have ECOG 0–2 (97 vs. 65%, p OpenSPiltSPi.001), gross tumour resection (91 vs. 61%, p OpenSPiltSPi.001), and receive chemoradiotherapy (94 vs. 40%, p OpenSPiltSPi.001). Most common presenting symptoms amongst LTS were headache (42%), seizure (28%) and speech disturbance (16%). Of LTS, 111 patients (72%) progressed at a median of 20.1 months from diagnosis, with 46% undergoing a second craniotomy. The most common non-surgical second line treatments were temozolomide (41%), followed by radiotherapy (12%). One-third of LTS received three or more lines of treatment, and 10% underwent three or more craniotomies. LTS of glioblastoma (20%) are more likely to be younger, have unilateral tumours, good performance status and undergo multimodality treatment. These data may assist in predicting LTS at diagnosis and understanding their clinical journey to facilitate planning of treatment and supportive care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Glioblastoma
  • Long term survival
  • Survivor

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