The Epidemiological Characteristics and Prognostic Factors of Low-Grade Brainstem Glioma: A Real-World Study of Pediatric and Adult Patients

Zhuoyi Liu, Songshan Feng, Jing Li, Hui Cao, Jun Huang, Fan Fan, Li Cheng, Zhixiong Liu, Quan Cheng
Frontiers in Oncology 2020, 10: 391
Purpose: Our current understanding of low-grade brainstem glioma (LGBSG) is still limited. This study aimed to conduct a large-scale population-based real-world study to understand the epidemiological characteristics of LGBSG and determine the predictive factors of cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) of LGBSG patients. Patients and Methods: We used Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database to conduct this study of patients with histologically confirmed LGBSG. Patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment options were compared between pediatric and adult patients. Univariate and multivariate analyses were employed to determine prognostic factors of CSS and OS. Kaplan-Meier curve and decision tree were used to confirm the prognostic factors. All variables were further identified by L1-penalized (Lasso) regression and then a nomogram was established to predict the 5- and 8-year CSS and OS rate. The precision of the nomogram was evaluated by calibration plots, Harrell's concordance index, and time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve. The clinical use of nomogram was estimated by decision curve analysis. Results: A cohort of 305 patients with LGBSG, including 165 pediatric and 140 adult patients, was analyzed. Adult and pediatric patients showed different patterns concerning tumor size, tumor extension, adjuvant therapy, and survival rate. Univariate analysis revealed that pediatric group, gross total resection (GTR), World Health Organization grade II, radiotherapy, extension to ventricular system, and diffuse astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumor (DAOT) were significantly associated with CSS. Multivariate analysis showed that pediatric group, metastasis, ventricular system involvement, and DAOT were independently associated with CSS. The prognostic factors were further confirmed by Kaplan-Meier curve and decision tree. Kaplan-Meier curve also showed that adjuvant therapy added no benefits in patients with GTR and non-GTR. In addition, the nomogram was developed and the C-index of internal validation for CSS was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.78-0.96). Conclusion: This study shows that pediatric and adult patients have different tumor characteristics, treatment options, and survival rate. Pediatric group, DAOT, ventricular system involvement, and metastasis were identified as independent prognostic factors for CSS by multivariate analysis. Adjuvant therapy showed no benefits on CSS in patients with GTR and non-GTR. The nomogram was discriminative and clinically useful.

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