Long-term survival with glioblastoma multiforme

Dietmar Krex*, Barbara Klink, Christian Hartmann, Andreas Von Deimling, Torsten Pietsch, Matthias Simon, Michael Sabel, Joachim P. Steinbach, Oliver Heese, Guido Reifenberger, Michael Weller, Gabriele Schackert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

664 Citations (Scopus)


The median survival of glioblastoma patients is ∼12 months. However, 3-5% of the patients survives for more than 3 years and are referred to as long-term survivors. The clinical and molecular factors that contribute to long-term survival are still unknown. To identify specific parameters that might be associated with this phenomenon, we performed a detailed clinical and molecular analysis of 55 primary glioblastoma long-term survivors recruited at the six clinical centres of the German Glioma Network and one associated centre. An evaluation form was developed and used to document demographic, clinical and treatment-associated parameters. In addition, environmental risk factors, associated diseases and occupational risks were assessed. These patients were characterized by young age at diagnosis and a good initial Karnofsky performance score (KPS). None of the evaluated socioeconomic, environmental and occupational factors were associated with long-term survival. Molecular analyses revealed MGMT hypermethylation in 28 of 36 tumours (74%) investigated. TP53 mutations were found in 9 of 31 tumours (29%) and EGFR amplification in 10 of 38 tumours (26%). Only 2 of 32 tumours (6%) carried combined 1p and 19q deletions. Comparison of these data with results from an independent series of 141 consecutive unselected glioblastoma patients registered in the German Glioma Network revealed significantly more frequent MGMT hypermethylation in the long-term survivor group. Taken together, our findings underline the association of glioblastoma long-term survival with prognostically favourable clinical factors, in particular young age and good initial performance score, as well as MGMT promoter hypermethylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2596-2606
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • EGFR
  • Glioblastoma
  • Long-term survival
  • MGMT, TP53


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