Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 479–485 | Cite as

Age alone is not a predictor for survival in glioblastoma

  • Lucy GatelyEmail author
  • Anna Collins
  • Michael Murphy
  • Anthony Dowling
Clinical Study


Over half of glioblastoma (GBM) cases are diagnosed in patients older than 65 years. Their median overall survival (OS) is 4–5 months, compared with 12–14 months in patients younger than 70 years. This retrospective audit aims to identify patterns of care and survival of patients diagnosed with GBM at a single institution in Melbourne, Australia. Consecutive histological diagnoses of adult primary GBM from January 2010 to December 2012 were retrospectively identified from medical records. Demographic, treatment and survival characteristics were recorded until death, with follow-up to January 1st 2015. Survival was estimated by Kaplan–Meier method. Planned, sub-group analyses were conducted using multivariate Cox proportional hazards model to identify differences between elderly and younger cohorts, as well as ECOG. 165 patients were identified (36 % aged ≥70 years). Those ≥70 years had a poorer performance status (ECOG 3–4: 27 vs 10 %, p = .005); poorer median OS (2.6 vs 11.5 months, p < .001); and were less likely to receive adjuvant treatment (no treatment: 40 vs 16 %, p < .001) compared with patients <70 years. Age was not a significant predictor of poorer os (HR 1.0; 0.99–1.03; p > .05), after adjusting for other clinical factors. Significant predictors of poorer os were poor performance status (p = .001), bilateral tumours (p = .04), biopsy only (p = .001), and no adjuvant treatment (p < .001). In patients diagnosed with GBM, those older than 70 years often present with poor performance status, are less likely to receive adjuvant treatment and have inferior os compared with younger patients. Treatment recommendations should be based on performance status/fitness, not age alone.


Glioblastoma Elderly Survival Kaplan–Meier 



The authors would like to acknowledge the St Vincent’s Pathology department and Cancer Council Victoria for their assistance. Results were presented at the Medical Oncology Group of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting in 2015.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Gately
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Collins
    • 2
  • Michael Murphy
    • 3
  • Anthony Dowling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OncologySt Vincent’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Palliative CareSt Vincent’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgerySt Vincent’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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