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Gurvinder Kaur, Orin Bloch, Brian J. Jian, Rajwant Kaur, Michael E. Sughrue, Manish K. Aghi, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, Susan M. Chang, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

The presence of cystic features in glioblastoma (GBM) has been described as a favorable prognostic factor. The aim of this study was to determine the survival outcome in patients undergoing surgery for newly diagnosed primary GBM with a large cystic component as compared with a large cohort of patients with noncystic GBM, while controlling for well-characterized prognostic factors.

Methods

A retrospective review of 354 consecutive patients treated with resection of primary GBM was performed using medical records and imaging information obtained at the University of California, San Francisco from 2005 to 2009. Within this cohort, 37 patients with large cysts (≥ 50% of tumor) were identified. Clinical presentations and surgical outcomes were statistically compared between the cystic and noncystic patients.

Results

There were no statistically significant differences in clinical presentation between groups, including differences in age, sex, presenting symptoms, tumor location, or preoperative functional status, with the exception of tumor size, which was marginally larger in the cystic group. Surgical outcomes, including extent of resection and postoperative functional status, were equivalent. The median actuarial survival for the patients with cystic GBM was 17.0 months (95% CI 12.6–21.3 months), and the median survival for patients with noncystic GBM was 15.9 months (95% CI 14.6–17.2 months). There was no significant between-groups difference in survival (p = 0.99, log-rank test). A Cox multivariate regression model was constructed, which identified only age and extent of resection as independent predictors of survival. The presence of a cyst was not a statistically significant prognostic factor.

Conclusions

This study, comprising the largest series of cases of primary cystic GBM reported in the literature to date, demonstrates that the presence of a large cyst in patients with GBM does not significantly affect overall survival as compared with survival in patients without a cyst. Preoperative discussions with patients with GBM should focus on validated prognostic factors. The presence of cystic features does not confer a survival advantage.

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Orin Bloch, Seunggu J. Han, Soonmee Cha, Matthew Z. Sun, Manish K. Aghi, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

Extent of resection (EOR) has been shown to be an important prognostic factor for survival in patients undergoing initial resection of glioblastoma (GBM), but the significance of EOR at repeat craniotomy for recurrence remains unclear. In this study the authors investigate the impact of EOR at initial and repeat resection of GBM on overall survival.

Methods

Medical records were reviewed for all patients undergoing craniotomy for GBM at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center from January 1, 2005, through August 15, 2009. Patients who had a second craniotomy for pathologically confirmed recurrence following radiation and chemotherapy were evaluated. Volumetric EOR was measured and classified as gross-total resection (GTR, > 95% by volume) or subtotal resection (STR, ≤ 95% by volume) after independent radiological review. Overall survival was compared between groups using univariate and multivariate analysis accounting for known prognostic factors, including age, eloquent location, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), and adjuvant therapies.

Results

Multiple resections were performed in 107 patients. Fifty-two patients had initial GTR, of whom 31 (60%) had GTR at recurrence, with a median survival of 20.4 months (standard error [SE] 1.0 months), and 21 (40%) had STR at recurrence, with a median survival of 18.4 months (SE 0.5 months) (difference not statistically significant). Initial STR was performed in 55 patients, of whom 26 (47%) had GTR at recurrence, with a median survival of 19.0 months (SE 1.2 months), and 29 (53%) had STR, with a median survival of 15.9 months (SE 1.2 months) (p = 0.004). A Cox proportional hazards model was constructed demonstrating that age (HR 1.03, p = 0.004), KPS score at recurrence (HR 2.4, p = 0.02), and EOR at repeat resection (HR 0.62, p = 0.02) were independent predictors of survival. Extent of initial resection was not a statistically significant factor (p = 0.13) when repeat EOR was included in the model, suggesting that GTR at second craniotomy could overcome the effect of an initial STR.

Conclusions

Extent of resection at recurrence is an important predictor of overall survival. If GTR is achieved at recurrence, overall survival is maximized regardless of initial EOR, suggesting that patients with initial STR may benefit from surgery with a GTR at recurrence.