Population-based survival data for brain tumors in Korea
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Primary brain tumors are relatively uncommon but particularly lethal cancers. Although survival is useful for monitoring the effects of early cancer detection and treatment, there are few population-based estimates of survival for subjects with brain tumors, especially in Asian countries. Using the Korea National Cancer Incidence Database, 4,721 newly diagnosed cases of histologically confirmed malignant primary brain tumors from 1999 to 2004 were analyzed for observed survival. For trend analyses of glioblastomas, we included 2,751 glioblastoma cases diagnosed between 1999 and 2007. We compared survival by age group and histological type by use of the Kaplan–Meier method. For all ages and all brain tumor types in Korea, five-year survival was 37.5 %. For each histological type of brain tumor survival of pediatric and younger adult populations was much better than that of older adults. Five-year survival for glioblastoma, astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, and oligodendroglioma was 8.9, 51.6, 25.2, and 73.5 %, respectively. Two-year survival for glioblastoma increased from 18.6 % for cases diagnosed in 1999–2001 to 21.3 % for cases diagnosed in 2002–2004 and to 24.7 % for cases diagnosed in 2005–2007. These results may help clinicians and patients to assess long-term prognoses for brain tumors, and the data presented here could serve as master control data set for single-arm clinical trials, especially in Asian populations.