Prognostic value of detecting recurrent glioblastoma multiforme in surgical specimens from patients after radiotherapy: Should pathology evaluation alter treatment decisions?

Tarik Tihan, Justine Barletta, Ian Parney, Kathleen Lamborn, Penny K. Sneed, Susan Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prognostic significance of the histologic type and grade of gliomas at initial surgery is well established, but the value of histologic findings in resections after radiotherapy is unclear. Despite this uncertainty, pathologic interpretation of specimens after radiotherapy influences immediate treatment decisions. It is important to determine if, and to what extent, treatment decisions should be based on this information. We aimed to determine the prognostic value of pathologic evaluation in postradiation specimens from 54 patients with similar clinical features who underwent a second surgery for the treatment of radiologic worsening after external beam radiotherapy. We categorized the specimens from the second surgery as either recurrent tumor (category 1) or radionecrosis (category 2). Patients in category 1 had actively proliferating neoplasms with classical features of glioblastoma, whereas patients in category 2 had no evidence of tumor in their surgical specimens. Cases in which a clear-cut definition could not be made were labeled indeterminate (category 3). Despite the morphological evidence of tumor, there were no significant differences between categories 1 and 2 in any of the survival parameters tested. The only difference between groups was higher frequency of iodine 125 (125I) placement at second surgery in category 1 patients (P < .028). Patients in category 1 with or without 125I treatment had similar survival characteristics. We conclude that histopathologic evaluation of postradiotherapy specimens was not helpful in predicting outcome or dictating further management. A comprehensive prospective study with advanced radiologic, pathologic, and molecular analyses may be more useful to determine prognostically valuable parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-282
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Pathology
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Keywords

  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Malignant glioma
  • Postradiotherapy
  • Prognosis
  • Radionecrosis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Recurrent glioblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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