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Location of brain tumor intersecting white matter tracts predicts patient prognosis. J Neurooncol 2015 Nov;125(2):393-400



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84945477926   18 Citations


Brain tumor cells invade adjacent normal brain along white matter (WM) bundles of axons. We therefore hypothesized that the location of tumor intersecting WM tracts would be associated with differing survival. This study introduces a method, voxel-wise survival analysis (VSA), to determine the relationship between the location of brain tumor intersecting WM tracts and patient prognosis. 113 primary glioblastoma (GBM) patients were retrospectively analyzed for this study. Patient specific tumor location, defined by contrast-enhancement, was combined with diffusion tensor imaging derived tractography to determine the location of axons intersecting tumor enhancement (AXITEs). VSA was then used to determine the relationship between the AXITE location and patient survival. Tumors intersecting the right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), right and left cortico-spinal tract (CST), and corpus callosum (CC) were associated with decreased overall survival. Tumors intersecting the CST, body of the CC, right ATR, posterior IFOF, and inferior longitudinal fasciculus are associated with decreased progression-free survival (PFS), while tumors intersecting the right genu of the CC and anterior IFOF are associated with increased PFS. Patients with tumors intersecting the ATR, IFOF, CST, or CC had significantly improved survival prognosis if they were additionally treated with bevacizumab. This study demonstrates the usefulness of VSA by locating AXITEs associated with poor prognosis in GBM patients. This information should be included in patient-physician conversations, therapeutic strategy, and clinical trial design.

Author List

Mickevicius NJ, Carle AB, Bluemel T, Santarriaga S, Schloemer F, Shumate D, Connelly J, Schmainda KM, LaViolette PS


Jennifer M. Connelly MD Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Peter LaViolette PhD Associate Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Nikolai J. Mickevicius PhD Assistant Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Fallon C. Schloemer DO Associate Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Kathleen M. Schmainda PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Brain Neoplasms
Corpus Callosum
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Disease-Free Survival
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Pyramidal Tracts
Retrospective Studies
Survival Analysis
White Matter