PURPOSE: There is limited information on treatment recommendations for glioblastoma patients with poor performance status. Here, we aim to evaluate the association of radiotherapy on survival in glioblastoma patients presenting with poor postoperative performance status in first-line setting.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data of 93 glioblastoma patients presenting with poor postoperative performance status (ECOG 2-4) at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, in the years 2005-2019. A total of 43 patients received radiotherapy with or without systemic therapy in the first-line setting, whereas 50 patients received no additive local or systemic treatment after initial biopsy or resection. Overall survival was calculated from primary diagnosis and from the end of radiotherapy. In addition, factors influencing survival were analyzed.
RESULTS: Median overall survival from primary diagnosis was 6.2 months in the radiotherapy group (95% CI 6.2-14.8 weeks, range 2-149 weeks) and 2.3 months in the group without additive treatment (95% CI 1.3-7.4 weeks, range 0-28 weeks) (p < 0.001). This survival benefit was confirmed by landmark analyses. Factors associated with overall survival were extent of resection and administration of radiotherapy with or without systemic treatment. Median survival from end of radiotherapy was 3 months (95% CI 4.3-21.7 weeks, range 0-72 weeks), with 25.6% (n = 11) early termination of treatment and 83.7% (n = 36) requiring radiotherapy as in-patients. Performance status improved in 27.9% (n = 12) of patients after radiotherapy.
CONCLUSION: In this retrospective single-institution analysis, radiotherapy improved overall survival in patients with poor performance status, especially in patients who were amendable to neurosurgical resection.