Comprehensive evaluation of treatment and outcomes of low-grade diffuse gliomas

Catherine R. Garcia, Stacey A. Slone, Thomas Pittman, William H. St. Clair, Donita D. Lightner, John L. Villano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Low-grade gliomas affect younger adults and carry a favorable prognosis. They include a variety of biological features affecting clinical behavior and treatment. Having no guidelines on treatment established, we aim to describe clinical and treatment patterns of low-grade gliomas across the largest cancer database in the United States. Methods We analyzed the National Cancer Database from 2004 to 2015, for adult patients with a diagnosis of World Health Organization grade II diffuse glioma. Results We analyzed 13,621 cases with median age of 41 years. Over 56% were male, 88.4% were white, 6.1% were black, and 7.6% Hispanic. The most common primary site location was the cerebrum (79.9%). Overall, 72.2% received surgery, 36.0% radiation, and 27.3% chemotherapy. Treatment combinations included surgery only (41.5%), chemotherapy + surgery (6.6%), chemotherapy only (3.1%), radiation + chemotherapy + surgery (10.7%), radiation + surgery (11.5%), radiation only (6.1%), and radiotherapy + chemotherapy (6.7%). Radiation was more common in treatment of elderly patients, 1p/19q co-deletion (37.3% versus 24.3%, p<0.01), and tumors with midline location. Median survival was 11 years with younger age, 1p/19q co-deletion, and cerebrum location offered survival advantage. Conclusions Tumor location, 1p/19q co-deletion, and age were the main determinants of treatment received and survival, likely reflecting tumor biology differences. Any form of treatment was preferred over watchful waiting in the majority of the patients (86.1% versus 8.1%). Survival of low-grade gliomas is higher than previously reported in the majority of clinical trials and population-based analyses. Our analysis provides a real world estimation of treatment decisions, use of molecular data, and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0203639
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ms. Slone was supported by the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (P30CA177558).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Garcia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • General


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