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BACKGROUND: O6-methylguanine (O6-MeG)-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation status is a predictive factor for alkylating treatment efficacy in glioblastoma patients, but its prognostic role is still unclear. We performed a large, multicenter study to evaluate the association between MGMT methylation value and survival. METHODS: We evaluated glioblastoma patients with an assessment of MGMT methylation status by pyrosequencing from nine Italian centers. The inclusion criteria were histological diagnosis of IDH wild-type glioblastoma, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG-PS) ≤2, and radio-chemotherapy treatment with temozolomide. The relationship between OS and MGMT was investigated with a time-dependent Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve and Cox regression models. RESULTS: In total, 591 newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients were analyzed. The median OS was 16.2 months. The ROC analysis suggested a cut-off of 15% for MGMT methylation. The 2-year Overall Survival (OS) was 18.3% and 51.8% for MGMT methylation <15% and ≥15% (p < 0.0001). In the multivariable analysis, MGMT methylation <15% was associated with impaired survival (p < 0.00001). However, we also found a non-linear association between MGMT methylation and OS (p = 0.002): median OS was 14.8 months for MGMT in 0-4%, 18.9 months for MGMT in 4-40%, and 29.9 months for MGMT in 40-100%. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested a non-linear relationship between OS and MGMT promoter methylation, which implies a varying magnitude of prognostic effect across values of MGMT promoter methylation by pyrosequencing in newly diagnosed IDH wild-type glioblastoma patients treated with chemoradiotherapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancers (Basel)

Publication Date





MGMT, glioblastoma, methylation, pyrosequencing, temozolomide