Glioblastoma Recurrence Versus Treatment Effect in a Pathology-Documented Series

Benjamin T. Himes, Andrea L. Arnett, Kenneth W. Merrell, Marcus J. Gates, Adip G. Bhargav, Aditya Raghunathan, Desmond A. Brown, Terry C. Burns, Ian F. Parney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM) are treated with surgery followed by fractionated radiotherapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide. Patients are monitored with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, treatment-related changes frequently mimic disease progression. We reviewed a series of patients undergoing surgery for presumed first-recurrence GBM, where pathology reports were available for tissue diagnosis, in order to better understand factors associated with a diagnosis of treatment-related changes on final pathology.Methods: Patient records at a single institution between 2005 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Pathology reports were reviewed to determine diagnosis of recurrent GBM or treatment effect. Survival analysis was performed interrogating overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Correlation with radiation treatment plans was also examined.Results: One-hundred-twenty-three patients were identified. One-hundred-sixteen patients (94%) underwent resection and seven underwent biopsy. Treatment-related changes were reported in 20 cases (16%). These patients had longer median OS and PFS from the time of recurrence than patients with true disease progression. However, there was no significant difference in OS from the time of initial diagnosis. Treatment effect was associated with surgery within 90 days of completing radiation. In patients receiving radiation at our institution (n = 53), larger radiation target volume and a higher maximum dose were associated with treatment effect.Conclusion: Treatment effect was associated with surgery nearer to completion of radiation, a larger radiation target volume, and a higher maximum point dose. Treatment effect was associated with longer PFS and OS from the time of recurrence, but not from the time of initial diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Glioblastoma
  • Pseudoprogression
  • Radiation necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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