The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between extent of resection (EOR) and survival in terms of clinical, molecular, and radiological factors in high-grade astrocytoma (HGA).
Clinical and radiological data from 585 cases of molecularly defined HGA were reviewed. In each case, the EOR was evaluated twice: once according to contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images (CE-T1WI) and once according to fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images. The ratio of the volume of the region of abnormality in CE-T1WI to that in FLAIR images (VFLAIR/VCE-T1WI) was calculated and a receiver operating characteristic curve was used to determine the optimal cutoff value for that ratio. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the prognostic value of each factor.
Both the EOR evaluated from CE-T1WI and the EOR evaluated from FLAIR could divide the whole cohort into 4 subgroups with different survival outcomes (p < 0.001). Cases were stratified into 2 subtypes based on VFLAIR/VCE-T1WI with a cutoff of 10: a proliferation-dominant subtype and a diffusion-dominant subtype. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant survival advantage for the proliferation-dominant subtype (p < 0.0001). The prognostic implication has been further confirmed in the Cox proportional hazards model (HR 1.105, 95% CI 1.078–1.134, p < 0.0001). The survival of patients with proliferation-dominant HGA was significantly prolonged in association with extensive resection of the FLAIR abnormality region beyond contrast-enhancing tumor (p = 0.03), while no survival benefit was observed in association with the extensive resection in the diffusion-dominant subtype (p = 0.86).
VFLAIR/VCE-T1WI is an important classifier that could divide the HGA into 2 subtypes with distinct invasive features. Patients with proliferation-dominant HGA can benefit from extensive resection of the FLAIR abnormality region, which provides the theoretical basis for a personalized resection strategy.