Sex is an important prognostic factor for glioblastoma but not for nonglioblastoma

Haley Gittleman, Quinn T. Ostrom, L. C. Stetson, Kristin Waite, Tiffany R. Hodges, Christina H. Wright, James Wright, Joshua B. Rubin, Michael E. Berens, Justin Lathia, James R. Connor, Carol Kruchko, Andrew E. Sloan, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background. Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and most malignant glioma. Nonglioblastoma (non-GBM) gliomas (WHO Grades II and III) are invasive and also often fatal. The goal of this study is to determine whether sex differences exist in glioma survival. Methods. Data were obtained from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) for years 2010 to 2014. GBM (WHO Grade IV; N = 2073) and non-GBM (WHO Grades II and III; N = 2963) were defined using the histology grouping of the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States. Non-GBM was divided into oligodendrogliomas/mixed gliomas and astrocytomas. Sex differences in survival were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for known prognostic variables. Results. There was a female survival advantage in patients with GBM both in the unadjusted (P = .048) and adjusted (P = .003) models. Unadjusted, median survival was 20.1 months (95% CI: 18.7-21.3 months) for women and 17.8 months (95% CI: 16.9-18.7 months) for men. Adjusted, median survival was 20.4 months (95% CI: 18.9- 21.6 months) for women and 17.5 months (95% CI: 16.7-18.3 months) for men. When stratifying by age group (18-55 vs 56+ years at diagnosis), this female survival advantage appeared only in the older group, adjusting for covariates (P = .017). Women (44.1%) had a higher proportion of methylated MGMT (O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) than men (38.4%). No sex differences were found for non-GBM. Conclusions. Using the NCDB data, there was a statistically significant female survival advantage in GBM, but not in non-GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Neurology


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