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Profile of a Malignant Brain Tumour in Jamaica: An Eight-year Review, 2005 to 2012



Objective: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant and most common primary brain tumour worldwide. This study was undertaken to investigate the demographics of this tumour in Jamaica as there is to date no such published data. Data from the recently started Intracranial Tumour Registry (ITR) at the University Hospital of the West Indies was used.

Methods: All cases of GBM entered into the ITR between 2005 and 2012 were gathered. Of these, only patients with pathologically proven diagnoses were entered into the study. Demographic data, including the age and gender, were recorded. The distribution of the tumours by anatomic location was also documented.

Results: Of the 602 patients entered into the ITR up to that time, 42 were found to have histologically proven GBM with a male to female ratio of 2.2:1. There was an age range of 8–92 years with a mean age of diagnosis of 48 years. The majority of the tumours (66.7%) occurred in the left cerebral hemisphere with the most common lobe being the temporal lobe. Two patients (4.8%) had lesions spanning both hemispheres.

Conclusions: This preliminary study revealed that there is a similar gender distribution of GBM within our population compared with the rest of the world. It, however, revealed that the mean age of diagnosis in our population (48 years) is lower than that quoted in the worldwide literature  (53 to 64 years). One such possible explanation for this is the possibility that many of our GBMs are actually secondary tumours which are thought to arise from less malignant, undiagnosed precursors. The percentage of GBMs occurring in the paediatric population was similar to the rest of the world.

23 Apr, 2014
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e-Published: 22 May, 2015
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