Time trends in oligodendroglial and astrocytic tumor incidence

Bridget J. McCarthy, Jennifer M. Propp, Faith G. Davis, Peter C. Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: We hypothesized that the incidences of oligodendrogliomas, anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, and mixed gliomas have significantly increased from the early 1990s forward, while the incidences of anaplastic and grade II astrocytic tumors have significantly decreased. Methods: Data for the years 1973-2004 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) public-use data and for 1985-2004 from six collaborating registries of the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the US (CBTRUS) were obtained. SEER*Stat was used to estimate age-adjusted incidence trends and annual percent change (APC) for selected histologies. Joinpoint regression was used to identify sharp changes in incidences occurring over time. Results: Using CBTRUS data, the incidences (per 100,000 person-years) of oligodendrogliomas (APC = 4.7), mixed gliomas (APC = 3.9) and anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (APC = 12.5) have all increased over time, while the incidences of astrocytoma not otherwise specified (APC = -8.1) and fibrillary astrocytoma (APC = -2.1) have decreased. Restricting the analyses to later years (1992-2004) using SEER data shows the incidence of oligodendrogliomas leveling off (APC = 0.5), while joinpoint analyses demonstrate a decreasing trend after 1998. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that increases in oligodendroglial tumor incidence correspond to decreases in astrocytic tumor incidence over the same time period. Minimizing misclassification of glial tumors will be essential for accurately assessing incidence, survival, and mortality rates, as well as for identifying homogeneous subgroups for epidemiologic and treatment studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrocytoma
  • Glioma
  • Oligodendroglioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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