Analysis of anemia and iron supplementation among glioblastoma patients reveals sex-biased association between anemia and survival

Ganesh Shenoy, Becky Slagle-Webb, Chachrit Khunsriraksakul, Bhavyata Pandya Shesh, Jingqin Luo, Vladimir Khristov, Nataliya Smith, Alireza Mansouri, Brad E. Zacharia, Sheldon Holder, Justin D. Lathia, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, James R. Connor

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The association between anemia and outcomes in glioblastoma patients is unclear. We analyzed data from 1346 histologically confirmed adult glioblastoma patients in the TriNetX Research Network. Median hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were quantified for 6 months following diagnosis and used to classify patients as anemic or non-anemic. Associations of anemia and iron supplementation of anemic patients with median overall survival (median-OS) were then studied. Among 1346 glioblastoma patients, 35.9% of male and 40.5% of female patients were classified as anemic using hemoglobin-based WHO guidelines. Among males, anemia was associated with reduced median-OS compared to matched non-anemic males using hemoglobin (HR 1.24; 95% CI 1.00–1.53) or hematocrit-based cutoffs (HR 1.28; 95% CI 1.03–1.59). Among females, anemia was not associated with median-OS using hemoglobin (HR 1.00; 95% CI 0.78–1.27) or hematocrit-based cutoffs (HR: 1.10; 95% CI 0.85–1.41). Iron supplementation of anemic females trended toward increased median-OS (HR 0.61; 95% CI 0.32–1.19) although failing to reach statistical significance whereas no significant association was found in anemic males (HR 0.85; 95% CI 0.41–1.75). Functional transferrin-binding assays confirmed sexually dimorphic binding in resected patient samples indicating underlying differences in iron biology. Anemia among glioblastoma patients exhibits a sex-specific association with survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2389
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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