Background Extensive resections in low-grade glioma (LGG) are associated with improved overall survival (OS). However, World Health Organization (WHO) classification of gliomas has been completely revised and is now predominantly based on molecular criteria. This requires reevaluation of the impact of surgery in molecularly defined LGG subtypes.
Methods We included 228 adults who underwent surgery since 2003 for a supratentorial LGG. Pre- and postoperative tumor volumes were assessed with semiautomatic software on T2-weighted images. Targeted next-generation sequencing was used to classify samples according to current WHO classification. Impact of postoperative volume on OS, corrected for molecular profile, was assessed using a Cox proportional hazards model.
Results Median follow-up was 5.79 years. In 39 (17.1%) histopathologically classified gliomas, the subtype was revised after molecular analysis. Complete resection was achieved in 35 patients (15.4%), and in 54 patients (23.7%) only small residue (0.1-5.0 cm 3) remained. In multivariable analysis, postoperative volume was associated with OS, with a hazard ratio of 1.01 (95% CI: 1.002-1.02; P = 0.016) per cm 3 increase in volume. The impact of postoperative volume was particularly strong in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutated astrocytoma patients, where even very small postoperative volumes (0.1-5.0 cm) already negatively affected OS.
Conclusion Our data provide the necessary reevaluation of the impact of surgery in molecularly defined LGG and support maximal resection as first-line treatment for molecularly defined LGG. Importantly, in IDH mutated astrocytoma, even small postoperative volumes have negative impact on OS, which argues for a second-look operation in this subtype to remove minor residues if safely possible.

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Department of Neurology

Wijnenga, M., French, P., Dubbink, E. J., Dinjens, W., Atmodimedjo, P., Kros, J., … van den Bent, M. (2017). The impact of surgery in molecularly defined low-grade glioma. Neuro-Oncology, 20(1), 103–112. doi:10.1093/neuonc/nox176