Considerations for a surgical RCT for diffuse low-grade glioma: A survey

Alireza Mansouri, Karanbir Brar, Michael D. Cusimano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Diffuse low-grade gliomas (DLGGs) are heterogeneous tumors that inevitably differentiate into malignant entities, leading to disability and death. Recently, a shift toward up-front maximal safe resection of DLGGs has been favored. However, this transition is not supported by randomized controlled trial (RCT) data. Here, we sought to survey the neuro-oncology community on considerations for a surgical RCT for DLGGs. Methods: A 21-question survey focusing on a surgical RCT for DLGGs was developed and validated by 2 neurosurgeons. A sample case of a patient for whom management might be debatable was presented to gather additional insight. The survey was disseminated to members of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) and responses were collected from March 16 to July 10, 2018. Results: A total of 131 responses were collected. Sixty-three of 117 (54%) respondents thought an RCT would not be ethical, 39 of 117 (33%) would consider participating, and 56 of 117 (48%) believed an RCT would be valuable for determining the differing roles of biopsy, surgery, and observation. This was exemplified by an evenly distributed selection of the latter management options for our sample case. Eighty-three of 120 (69.2%) respondents did not believe in equipoise for DLGG patients. Quality of life and overall survival were deemed equally important end points for a putative RCT. Conclusions: Based on our survey, it is evident that management of certain DLGG patients is not well defined and an RCT may be justified. As with any surgical RCT, logistic challenges are anticipated. Robust patient-relevant end points and standardization of perioperative adjuncts are necessary if a surgical RCT is undertaken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 5 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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