Insurance Status Affects Glioblastoma Survival Interview with:

Wuyang Yang, M.D., M.S. Research Fellow Department of Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Wuyang Yang

Wuyang Yang, M.D., M.S.
Research Fellow
Department of Neurosurgery
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD 21287 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) patients involves a combined approach of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Despite advancement in the therapeutic approaches for GBM, differing socioeconomic status result in disparities in health-care access, and may superimpose a significant impact on survival of glioblastoma patients. Insurance status is an indirect indicator of overall socioeconomic status of a patient, and has been shown to correlate with survival of patients with malignant tumor in other parts of the body. We conducted the first study to determine a relationship between different types of insurance and survival of GBM patients.

In our study of 13,665 cases of GBM patients, we found that non-Medicaid insured patients have a significant survival benefit over uninsured and even Medicaid insured patients. This is the first time a study describes this relationship in glioblastoma patients, and also the first to compare and quantify the likelihood of poor prognosis between different insurance categories. A difference in insurance coverage was also uncovered, and patients with insurance were more likely to be older, female, white, and married. In addition, we found that younger, female, married patients with smaller tumor size survive longer than other patients, which confirmed findings in existing literature. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The general take away from this report is that variations existing in insurance status in glioblastoma population may significantly affect the prognosis of these patients. A disparity in healthcare-access likely exists and may also be the underlying reason for difference in survival of these patients. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Given that insurance status is an indirect indicator of socioeconomic status of GBM patients, the underlying mechanisms for our results is discussed but not confirmed. We expect future studies to explore the underlying reasons for this relationship, and include more detailed and direct indicators of socioeconomic status to further characterize the healthcare disparities among GBM patients. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Influence of Insurance Status on Survival of Adults with Glioblastoma  (GBM): A Population Based Study.” Xiaoming Rong, Wuyang Yang, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Justin M. Caplan Xuan Hui, Michael Lim, and Judy Huang. CANCER; Published Online: August 8, 2016

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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