Biopsy versus resection for the management of low-grade gliomas. Cochrane database of systematic reviews Veeravagu, A., Jiang, B., Ludwig, C., Chang, S. D., Black, K. L., Patil, C. G. 2013; 4: CD009319-?


Low-grade gliomas (LGG) constitute a class of slow-growing primary brain neoplasms. Patients with clinically and radiographically suspected LGG have two initial surgical options, biopsy or resection. Biopsy can provide a histological diagnosis with minimal risk but does not offer a direct treatment. Resection may have additional benefits such as increasing survival and delaying recurrence, but is associated with a higher risk for surgical morbidity. There remains controversy about the role of biopsy versus resection and the relative clinical outcomes for the management of LGG.To assess the clinical effectiveness of biopsy compared to surgical resection in patients with a new lesion suspected to be a LGG.The following electronic databases were searched: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2012, Issue 11), MEDLINE (1950 to week 3 November 2012), EMBASE (1980 to Week 46 2012). Unpublished and grey literature including Metaregister, Physicians Data Query,,, and were also queried for ongoing trials.Patients of any age with a suspected intracranial LGG receiving biopsy or resection within a randomized clinical trial (RCT) or controlled clinical trial (CCT) were included. Patients with prior resections, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy for LGG were excluded. Outcome measures included overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS), functionally independent survival (FIS), adverse events, symptom control, and quality of life (QoL).A total of 2764 citations were searched and critically analyzed for relevance. This effort was undertaken by three independent review authors.No RCTs of biopsy or resection for LGG were identified. Twenty other studies were retrieved for analysis based on pre-specified selection criteria. Ten studies were retrospective or literature reviews. Three studies were prospective but were limited to tumor recurrence or the extent of resection. One study was a population-based parallel cohort and not an RCT. Four studies were RCTs, however patients were randomized with respect to varying radiotherapy regimens to assess timing and dose of radiation. One RCT was focused on high-grade gliomas and not LGG. One last RCT evaluated diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based neuro-navigation for surgical resection.Currently there are no randomized clinical trials or controlled clinical trials available on which to base clinical decisions. Therefore, physicians must approach each case individually and weigh the risks and benefits of each intervention until further evidence is available. Future research could focus on randomized clinical trials to determine outcomes benefits for biopsy versus resection.

View details for DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD009319.pub2

View details for PubMedID 23633369