Glioblastoma in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA)

With the help of the Nicki Leach Foundation, our lab is working to develop preclinical models for glioblastoma brain tumors found in adolescents and young adults (AYA). This group of tumors is biologically distinct and unique from glioblastoma tumors seen in older patients. Thus, this group warrants its own preclinical models to develop effective therapies. A newly uncovered misconception with this age group is that although AYA traditionally have significantly longer survival than older patients, while the the older age group’s cancer survival has been improving overall, AYA has not experienced any increase in survival and now may have worse survival than the older patients. This is likely due to improper models to develop effective therapies for this age category.


We have decided to group the patients as follows:

  • Adolescents: Ages 14-29
  • Young adults and adults: Ages 30-45
  • Mature adults and elderly: Ages 46+


The examination of 595 GBM samples analyzed by TCGA, twenty-four samples existed that were in age range of 14 to 29. Therefore, this age category composes just 4% of the total GBM patients categorized.

Age Table for GBM


Quinn T. Ostrom, Haley Gittleman, Peter M. de Blank, Jonathan L. Finlay, James G. Gurney, Roberta McKean-Cowdin, Duncan S. Stearns, Johannes E. Wolff, Max Liu, Yingli Wolinsky, Carol Kruchko, and Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan. American Brain Tumor Association Adolescent and Young Adult Primary Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2008-2012. Neuro Oncol (2016) 18 (suppl 1): i1-i50 doi:10.1093/neuonc/nov297


Craig Behel

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