Socioeconomic factors affecting survivorship of glioblastoma patients in the Philippines
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Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor in adults worldwide. However, data on the survivorship of GBM patients in low- and middle-income countries is sparse. We determined whether socioeconomic factors such as marital status, place of residence, educational attainment, employment status, and income affected survival. A retrospective cohort study of surgically managed GBM patients (n = 48) in a single center over a five-year period was conducted using chart review and telephone interview. The mean age was 41 years, with a male predilection (62%). Most patients were married (73%), employed full time (79%), resided in a rural location (56%), completed secondary education (44%), and had a low income (83%). Most of the tumors were > 5 cm at the time of diagnosis (90%) and involved more than one lobe (40%). Majority underwent subtotal resection (56%). Only 15% (n = 7) had adjuvant chemoradiation while 23% (n = 11) had radiotherapy alone. Median overall survival was 7.6 months. Multivariate analysis showed that extent of resection (gross total resection, p = 0.0033; subtotal resection, p = 0.0069) and adjuvant treatment (p = 0.0254) were associated with improved survival, while low income (p = 0.0178) and educational (p = 0.0206) levels and part-time employment (p = 0.0063) were associated with decreased survival. Many GBM patients at our center presented at an advanced stage in their natural history, and majority (62%) did not receive adjuvant treatment after surgery. As such, the median overall survival was less than that reported in developed countries. Of the socioeconomic factors analyzed, low income and educational levels and part-time employment were negatively associated with survivorship.
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