The Glioma Outcomes (GO) Project (1997-2002) assessed outcomes of patients undergoing surgery for malignant glioma, which enrolled nearly 800 patients through over 150 surgeons in nearly 60 clinical sites in the USA. All patients were followed for up to two years after the index surgery through clinical assessment and patient questionnaires. The GO Project was endorsed by the Joint Section on Tumors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. This collection showcases publications about the project and project research.


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Recently Published

  • Functional outcomes and survival in patients with high-grade gliomas in dominant and nondominant hemispheres

    Polin, Richard S.; Marko, Nicholas F.; Ammerman, Matthew D.; Shaffrey, Mark E.; Huang, Wei; Anderson, Frederick A. Jr.; Caputy, Anthony J.; Laws, Edward R. Jr. (2005-02-03)
    OBJECT: The goal of this study was to investigate survival and functional outcomes in patients with high-grade intracranial astrocytomas as a function of the location of the lesion in the dominant or nondominant hemisphere (DH and NDH, respectively), and to suggest management strategies for such patients based on these data. METHODS: Data were collected from the Glioma Outcomes Project database, a longitudinal database of demographic, clinical, and outcome data for patients with high-grade intracranial gliomas. From the entire database of 788 patients, a subset of all 280 right-handed patients with newly diagnosed, unilateral gliomas involving potentially eloquent cortex was selected as the sample population. Two cohorts were defined based on the location of the tumor in the right or left cerebral hemisphere. All other relevant demographic and clinical data were nearly identical between the cohorts. A Kaplan-Meier analysis was conducted to assess survival, and Karnofsky Performance Scale scores assigned at 6 and 12 months postoperatively were compared as a measure of functional outcome. The analysis demonstrated no difference in survival between patients with lesions in the DH and those with tumors in the NDH. Additionally, no statistically significant difference in functional outcomes was observed between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Laterality of high-grade gliomas is not an independent prognostic factor for predicting survival or functional outcome. The findings in this study demonstrate that fears of increased postoperative morbidity or mortality in otherwise resectable tumors of the DH are unfounded, and the authors therefore advocate that the surgeon's decision to operate be guided by validated outcome predictors and not biased by tumor lateralization.
  • Patterns of care for adults with newly diagnosed malignant glioma

    Chang, Susan M.; Parney, Ian F.; Huang, Wei; Anderson, Frederick A. Jr.; Asher, Anthony L.; Bernstein, Mark; Lillehei, Kevin O.; Brem, Henry; Berger, Mitchel S.; Laws, Edward R. Jr.; et al. (American Medical Association, 2005-02-02)
    CONTEXT: Patients with malignant glioma (grade III or IV) face a poor prognosis, and few evidence-based treatment guidelines are available. There is a dearth of prospective data on patterns of care for these patients. OBJECTIVE: To provide benchmark data to enable comparison of individual practice patterns and outcomes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: The Glioma Outcomes (GO) Project enrolled 788 patients at 52 clinical sites, both academic and community practices, between December 1997 and July 2000. The enrollment criteria included adult patients with primary grade III or IV glioma undergoing a first or second operation for diagnosis or treatment. The data collection instruments included questionnaire forms given at enrollment, during the perioperative period, and at follow-up intervals of 3 months until death or a maximum of 24 months. Of the patients recorded in the GO database, 565 patients with newly diagnosed tumors were used for this analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patterns of care (surgical management, perioperative care, postoperative management). RESULTS: Most patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (n = 518; 92%) and an attempt at tumor resection (n = 425; 75%). Cortical mapping (n = 107; 19%) and intraoperative image guidance (n = 161; 29%) were uncommon. Most received perioperative corticosteroids (n = 535; 99%) and antiepileptic medications (n = 497; 88%), but few received antidepressants (n = 38; 8%) or prophylactic heparin (n = 42; 7%). Most received adjuvant radiation therapy (n = 479; 87%), but fewer received chemotherapy (n = 300; 54%). Practice patterns varied significantly between academic and community settings. CONCLUSIONS: Reliance on magnetic resonance imaging, surgery, and radiation is generally accepted; however, relatively infrequent chemotherapy use may conflict with published literature, and frequent use of prophylactic antiepileptic medications contradicts established practice guidelines. Other practice patterns involving surgical adjuncts, prophylactic heparin, and antidepressants require further investigation to clarify appropriateness. Establishing further clinical guidelines may help reduce variability in practice patterns.
  • Depression in patients with high-grade glioma: results of the Glioma Outcomes Project

    Litofsky, N. Scott; Farace, Elana; Anderson, Frederick A. Jr.; Meyers, Christina A.; Huang, Wei; Laws, Edward R. Jr.; Glioma Outcomes Investigators (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004-02-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To study the incidence of depression among patients undergoing surgery for high-grade glioma, document factors associated with the presence of depression, and examine the relationship between depression and patient outcome. METHODS: Physician and patient reports of depression were analyzed immediately postoperatively and again 3 and 6 months after surgery for high-grade glioma. Physician-reported depression was defined according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ed 4. Patient self-assessment of depression was based on responses to questions contained in two validated functional status surveys. Concordance of physician- and patient-reported depression was examined, along with the extent of use of pharmacological treatment for depression. Additional outcomes examined included quality of life, survival, patient satisfaction, and posttreatment complications. RESULTS: Data from 598 patients were analyzed. In the early postoperative period, physicians reported depression in 15% of patients, whereas 93% of patients reported symptoms consistent with depression. The incidence of patient self-reported depression remained similar at 3- and 6-month follow-up, whereas physician reported depression increased from 15% in the early postoperative period to 22% at both 3- and 6-month follow-up. Concordance between physician recognition of depression and treatment of depression was low initially (33%) and increased at 3 and 6 months (51 and 60%, respectively). As compared with patients who were not depressed, survival was shorter and complications were more common among depressed patients. CONCLUSION: Symptoms of depression were common immediately after surgery for glioma, and they increased throughout the 6-month period after surgery. These findings support the hypothesis that clinically important depression is a common complication in patients with high-grade glioma. Concordance between physician recognition of depression and self-reports of depression by patients was low. Concordance between physician recognition of depression and initiation of pharmacological antidepressant therapy was fair in the early postoperative period and improved somewhat over the subsequent 6-month period; however, within the 6-month period after surgery for glioma, antidepressant therapy was provided for only 60% of patients in whom the physician recognized depressive symptoms and in only 15% of patients who self-reported symptoms of depression. Findings from this observational study suggest the need for a controlled trial that is designed to test the hypothesis that more attention to the identification of postoperative depression and aggressive treatment of depressive symptoms can improve the quality of life and survival of patients after surgery for high-grade glioma.
  • Survival following surgery and prognostic factors for recently diagnosed malignant glioma: data from the Glioma Outcomes Project

    Laws, Edward R. Jr.; Parney, Ian F.; Huang, Wei; Anderson, Frederick A. Jr.; Morris, Angel M.; Asher, Anthony; Lillehei, Kevin O.; Bernstein, Mark; Brem, Henry; Sloan, Andrew E.; et al. (2003-09-10)
    OBJECT: The Glioma Outcomes Project represents a contemporary analysis of the management of malignant (Grade III and Grade IV/GBM) gliomas in North America. This observational database was used to evaluate the influence of resection, as opposed to biopsy, on patient outcome as measured by the length of survival. Attempts were made to reduce the impact of selection bias by repeating the data analysis after omitting patients with major negative prognostic factors. METHODS: Outcome data from 788 patients accrued from multiple sites over a 4-year period (1997-2001) were analyzed with the primary outcome measure being length of survival. Of these, 565 patients with recent diagnoses formed the basis of the present analysis. Patients were systematically followed up until death or up to 24 months after enrollment in the study, and survival data were correlated with the histopathological grade and location of the tumor, the extent of surgery, the patient's performance status, and demographic factors. The median length of survival was 40.9 weeks for patients with recently diagnosed GBMs. The true median length of survival for patients with Grade III gliomas was not reached, although there was a 58% survival rate at 104 weeks. In multivariate analysis, resection rather than biopsy (p < 0.0001), age 60 years or younger (p < 0.0001), and a Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score of 70 or greater (p = 0.0004) were associated with a prolonged survival time for patients with Grade III or IV gliomas. The prognostic value of resection compared with biopsy was maintained (p < 0.0001), even after eliminating patients considered to be "poor risk" (those with age > 60 years, KPS score < 70, or presence of multifocal tumors), who may have been overrepresented in the biopsy group. Survival "tails" at 24 months were 58% for Grade III gliomas and 11% for GBMs. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide Class II evidence to support tumor grade, patient's age, and patient's functional status as prognostic factors for survival in individuals with recently diagnosed malignant gliomas. Resection (compared with biopsy) is also a strong prognostic factor; however, no quantitative attempt was made to assess the true extent of the resection.
  • Perioperative complications and neurological outcomes of first and second craniotomies among patients enrolled in the Glioma Outcome Project

    Chang, Susan M.; Parney, Ian F.; McDermott, Michael; Barker, Fred G. Jr.; Schmidt, Meic H.; Huang, Wei; Laws, Edward R. Jr.; Lillehei, Kevin O.; Bernstein, Mark; Brem, Henry; et al. (2003-06-21)
    OBJECT: In many new clinical trials of patients with malignant gliomas surgical intervention is incorporated as an integral part of tumor-directed interstitial therapies such as gene therapy, biodegradable wafer placement, and immunotherapy. Assessment of toxicity is a major component of evaluating these novel therapeutic interventions, but this must be done in light of known complication rates of craniotomy for tumor resection. Factors predicting neurological outcome would also be helpful for patient selection for surgically based clinical trials. METHODS: The Glioma Outcome Project is a prospectively compiled database containing information on 788 patients with malignant gliomas that captured clinical practice patterns and patient outcomes. Patients in this series who underwent their first or second craniotomy were analyzed separately for presenting symptoms, tumor and patient characteristics, and perioperative complications. Preoperative and intraoperative factors possibly related to neurological outcome were evaluated. There were 408 patients who underwent first craniotomies (C1 group) and 91 patients who underwent second ones (C2 group). Both groups had similar patient and tumor characteristics except for their median age (55 years in the C1 group compared with 50 years in the C2 group; p = 0.006). Headache was more common at presentation in the C1 group, whereas papilledema and an altered level of consciousness were more common at presentation in patients undergoing second surgeries. Perioperative complications occurred in 24% of patients in the C1 group and 33% of patients in the C2 group (p = 0.1). Most patients were the same or better neurologically after surgery, but more patients in the C2 group (18%) displayed a worsened neurological status than those in the C1 group (8%; p = 0.007). The Karnofsky Performance Scale score and, in patients in the C2 group, tumor size were important neurological outcome predictors. Regional complications occurred at similar rates in both groups. Systemic infections occurred more frequently in the C2 group (4.4 compared with 0%; p < 0.0001) as did depression (20 compared with 11%; p = 0.02). The perioperative mortality rate was 1.5% for the C1 group and 2.2% for the C2 group (p = not significant). The median length of the hospital stay was 4 days in each group. CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative complications occur slightly more often following a second craniotomy for malignant glioma than after the first craniotomy. This should be considered when evaluating toxicities from intraoperative local therapies requiring craniotomy. Nevertheless, most patients are neurologically stable or improved after either their first or second craniotomy. This data set may serve as a benchmark for neurosurgeons and others in a discussion of operative risks in patients with malignant gliomas.
  • Surgical management of intracranial gliomas--does radical resection improve outcome

    Laws, Edward R. Jr.; Shaffrey, Mark E.; Morris, A.; Anderson, Frederick A. Jr. (2003-02-07)
    This paper discusses the arguments for and against radical tumor resection as a strategy for treatment of cerebral gliomas. METHOD: Data from the Glioma Outcome Project were analyzed to determine whether survival could be related to extent of resection in 666 patients treated by biopsy or resection for malignant cerebral gliomas. FINDINGS: Consistent survival advantages were noted for those patients treated with resection. INTERPRETATION: This observational study, although undoubtedly reflecting selection bias, provides data that support resection as a major factor in survival after surgery for malignant gliomas.
  • Clinical trial participation among patients enrolled in the Glioma Outcomes Project

    Chang, Susan M.; Barker, Fred G. Jr.; Schmidt, Meic H.; Sloan, Andrew E.; Kasper, Rachel; Phillips, Leslie; Shih, Karen; Hariharan, Subramanian; Berger, Mitchel; The Glioma Outcomes Investigators (2002-05-14)
    BACKGROUND: Patient participation in well-designed and conducted clinical trials enables researchers to test new therapies. An understanding of the variables that possibly influence patient enrollment may help in patient recruitment for future trials. The authors evaluated factors that influenced patient enrollment in clinical trials using a prospective, large, multi-institutional registry of patients with malignant glioma. METHODS: Data were examined from 708 patients who underwent first or second surgery for a malignant glioma who were enrolled in the Glioma Outcomes Project, which is a prospective observational data base that captures clinical practice patterns. The frequency of clinical trial participation and the variables that may have been associated with trial participation were evaluated. These variables included age, gender, race, household income, educational level, first versus second craniotomy, histology, and whether the patient was treated at an academic institution. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-one of 708 patients (21.3%) participated in a clinical trial, which was higher than the participation reported typically for patients with other types of primary malignancies. In univariate analysis, race, histology, and first craniotomy were significant between the two groups, with Caucasian patients and patients with glioblastoma histology showing higher participation rates. In a multivariate logistic regression model, significant predictors included young age and glioblastoma multiforme histology. CONCLUSIONS: The authors present information on factors that may influence clinical trial participation among patients with malignant glioma and compare their data with information described previously on patients with other types of malignant disease. The percent of participation among the patients in the current study was greater than among patients with other primary tumor sites. Strategies should be implemented to improve recruitment to neuro-oncology trials, especially in elderly and minority populations.
  • The Glioma Outcomes Project: a resource for measuring and improving glioma outcomes

    Anderson, Frederick A. Jr.; The Glioma Outcomes Project Advisory Board (1998-06-13)
    The author describes the Glioma Outcomes (GO) Project which conducts outcomes research and develops educational programs to benefit patients who undergo surgery for glioma. In January 1997 an advisory board of neurosurgeons, neurooncologists, and clinical research scientists was formed to establish the policies governing this project and to control the dissemination of aggregate data on clinical practices and outcomes. This voluntary database is designed to 1) guide the development of educational programs to improve the care of patients and 2) provide a mechanism by which physicians can evaluate the impact of their diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in a manner that is timely, confidential, and objective.