Progress Toward Long-Term Survivors of Glioblastoma

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Objective: To identify the frequency and characteristics of long-term survivors of glioblastoma. Patients and Methods: Using all cases of glioblastoma with histopathological confirmation in the National Cancer Database from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2009, clinical, institutional, and treatment-related factors were evaluated with multivariable logistic regression models so as to elucidate factors independently associated with higher than 5-year overall survival after diagnosis. Results: A total of 48,652 patients met the inclusion criteria, with 2249 (4.6%) achieving 5-year survival. Factors associated with odds of improved 5-year overall survival in multivariable analysis were younger age, female sex, less medical comorbidities, nonwhite race, highest median income quartile, left-sided tumors and tumors outside the brainstem, and treatment with radiotherapy (P<.05 for all). The percentage of patients surviving 5 years remained relatively unchanged over the 6-year study period (P=.97). Conclusion: Despite improvements in median and short-term overall survival shown in recent large clinical trials for glioblastoma, the percentage of patients with glioblastoma achieving 5-year overall survival remains low. This observation calls for the development of practice-redefining therapies and justifies the increased application of radical novel and experimental treatment paradigms for all patients with glioblastoma.