Outcome of glioblastoma resection in patients 80 years of age and older

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:373–383

Objective To evaluate the role and possible complications of tumor resection in the management of glioblastoma (GBM) in a series of patients 80 years of age and older with review of literature.

Methods The authors retrospectively analyzed cases involving patients 80 years or older who underwent biopsy or initial resection of GBM at their hospital between 2007 and 2018. A total of 117 patients (mean age 82 years) met the inclusion criteria; 57 had resection (group A) and 60 had biopsy (group B). Functional outcomes and survival at follow-up were analyzed.

Results Group A differed significantly from group B at baseline in having betterWHO performance status, better ASA scores, more right-sided tumors, and no basal ganglia or “butterfly” gliomas. Nevertheless, 56% of group A patients had an ASA score of 3. Median survival was 9.5 months (95% CI 8–17 months) in group A, 4 months (95% CI 3.5–6 months) in group B, and 17.5 months (95% CI 12–24 months) in the 56% of group A patients treated with resection and Stupp protocol. Rates of postoperative neurologic and medical complications were almost identical in the 2 groups, but the rate of surgical site complications was substantially greater in group A (12% vs 5%). There was no significant difference in mean preoperative and postoperative KPS scores (group A).

Conclusions In selected patients 80 years or older, radical removal of GBM was associated with acceptable survival and a low perioperative complication rate which is comparable to that of a biopsy. Although the median survival of the whole group was lower than reported for younger patients, a subgroup amenable to radical surgery and Stupp protocol achieved a median survival of 17.5 months.