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Survival statistics show hard fight when malignant brain tumors appear at multiple sites
Date:8/24/2012

LOS ANGELES (Embargoed until 10 a.m. EDT on Aug. 24, 2012) When aggressive, malignant tumors appear in more than one location in the brain, patient survival tends to be significantly shorter than when the disease starts as a single tumor, even though patients in both groups undergo virtually identical treatments, according to research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Research Institute.

"We've known that certain independent factors, such as age at diagnosis, amount of residual tumor after surgery, and the patient's functional status are useful in predicting outcomes in patients with glioblastoma multiforme, but multifocal disease at time of onset has rarely been examined in this context. Two small previous studies were contradictory. Our study appears to confirm observations that disease in patients with more than one lesion is particularly challenging and that these patients tend to have worse outcomes. Matched survival analysis demonstrated that multifocal disease is a strong and negative independent prognostic factor," said Chirag G. Patil, MD, director of the Center for Neurosurgical Outcomes Research in the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The researchers compared outcomes of 47 patients who had multiple tumors with 47 who had a single lesion, matching them for age, functional impairment scores, extent of tumor removal and radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Median overall survival for the multifocal group was six months, compared to 11 months for those in the single tumor group.

Patil, first author of an article in the Aug. 24 Journal of Neurosurgery, noted that a comparatively large percentage of tumors in the multifocal group appeared to be "treatment resistant," continuing to grow even after patients underwent radiation therapy.

Unlike earlier studies, nearly all of these patients were diagnosed and treated during the "temozolomide era," beginning in 20
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
808-526-1708
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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