What is the prevalence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey N Bruce, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert H Engelhard, III, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS  more...
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Overall incidence is very similar among countries. Glioblastoma multiformes are slightly more common in the United States, Scandinavia, and Israel than in Asia. This may reflect differences in genetics, diagnosis and the healthcare system, and reporting practices. Glioblastoma multiforme is the most frequent primary brain tumor, accounting for approximately 12-15% of all intracranial neoplasms and 50-60% of all astrocytic tumors. In most European and North American countries, incidence is approximately 2-3 new cases per 100,000 people per year.

Within the United States, glioblastoma multiforme is slightly more common in whites.

In a review of 1003 glioblastoma biopsies from the University Hospital Zurich, [40] males had a slight preponderance over females, with a male-to-female ratio of 3:2.

Glioblastoma multiforme may manifest in persons of any age, but it affects adults preferentially, with a peak incidence at 45-70 years. In the series from University Hospital Zurich (a review of 1003 glioblastoma biopsies), 70% of patients were in this age group, with a mean age of 53 years. [40] In a series reported by Dohrman (1976), only 8.8% of glioblastoma multiformes occurred in children. [41]

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