Glioblastoma (GB) and its variants portend a poor prognosis. The predominant cause of death (COD) is related to the cancer diagnosis, but a significant subset is related to other causes. As GB is a systemic disease requiring systemic treatment, focus regarding all COD provides a comprehensive illustration of the disease.
The SEER-18 was queried for patients with cranial GB and its variants. Age, gender, race, marital status, tumor characteristics, treatment details, and follow-up data were acquired. The patients were classified into group A (death attributed to this cancer diagnosis) or group B (death attributed to causes other than this cancer diagnosis).
From 1973 to 2013, 36,632 deaths (94%) constituted group A, and 2,324 deaths (5.9%) constituted group B. The latter significantly exhibited lower proportions of age <60, Caucasians, married status, frontal/brain stem/ventricle tumor locations, and receipt of radiation. From logistic regression, age >60, male gender, race, not married, tumor location, and no radiation were significant independent predictors for group B. The top known CODs in group B are diseases of heart, pneumonia and influenza, cerebrovascular diseases, accidents and adverse effects, and infections.
CODs not attributed to GB remains a significant subset of all CODs. Many of these, particularly diseases of heart, are frequent comorbidities. Moreover, infection-related CODs after GB diagnosis appear more salient compared to CODs in the general population. Consideration of these CODs, and vigilant treatment aimed at these CODs, may improve overall care for GB patients.