Assessing the efficacy of repeat resections in recurrent glioblastoma: a systematic review

David Botros, Hayden Dux, Carrie Price, Adham M. Khalafallah, Debraj Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The inevitable recurrence of glioblastoma (GBM) results in patients often undergoing multiple resections with questionable benefit to overall survival (OS). Objective: To systematically review and analyze prior studies examining the potential added benefit of repeat resection (RR) in recurrent GBM. Methods: We performed a PRISMA-compliant systematic review of literature published between 1969 to 2019 involving patients undergoing RR at GBM recurrence. Results: The search yielded 3994 non-duplicate citations. Final abstraction included 43 articles, with 2 level II and 41 level III studies. The earliest paper we included was published in 1987 [1], and 35 identified papers (81.4%) were published within the last 10 years. The survival data of 9236 patients (55% male) were analyzed, with a median age of 56; 3726 patients underwent RR. In 31 studies with a comparable single-surgery-only cohort, 20 articles reported a statistically significant increase in OS with RR, 7 reported nonsignificant trends toward increased OS with RR, and 4 reported no significant increase in OS with RR. Twenty-two articles with multivariate analyses of Karnofsky performance scores and 17 articles with extent-of-resection reported these as significant prognostic factors of OS. In 26 studies, median OS among all patients was 17.85 months inclusive of median OS following RR totaling 9.6 months. Notably, in 10 studies with data on subsequent progressions (2+ recurrences), 6 studies reported significant increases in OS with subsequent repeat resection (sRR) compared to those not undergoing sRR. Conclusions: Recurrent GBM presents a treatment challenge. There appears to be an OS benefit for RR upon first recurrence as well as sRR. Such findings warrant further investigation of the potential benefits of continued surgical intervention after subsequent progressions of GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1271
Number of pages13
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Glioblastoma (GBM)
  • Karnofsky performance score (KPS)
  • Overall survival (OS)
  • Progression-free survival (PFS)
  • Repeat resections (RR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the efficacy of repeat resections in recurrent glioblastoma: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this