While MGMT promoter methylation (mMGMT) is predictive of response to alkylating chemotherapy and guides treatment decisions in glioblastoma, its role in grade 2 and 3 glioma remains unclear. Recent data suggest that mMGMT is prognostic of progression-free survival in 1p/19q-codeleted oligodendrogliomas, but an effect on overall survival (OS) has not been demonstrated.

Experimental Design:

We identified patients with newly diagnosed 1p/19q-codeleted gliomas and known MGMT promoter status in the National Cancer Database from 2010 to 2019. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to assess the effect of mMGMT on OS after adjusting for age, sex, race, comorbidity, grade, extent of resection, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.


We identified 1,297 eligible patients, 938 (72.3%) of whom received chemotherapy in their initial course of treatment. The MGMT promoter was methylated in 1,009 (77.8%) patients. Unmethylated MGMT (uMGMT) was associated with worse survival compared with mMGMT [70% {95% confidence interval (CI), 64%–77%} vs. 81% (95% CI, 78%–85%); P < 0.001; adjusted HR (aHR), 2.35 (95% CI, 1.77–3.14)]. uMGMT was associated with worse survival in patients who received chemotherapy [63% (95% CI, 55–73%) vs. 80% (95% CI, 76%–84%); P < 0.001; aHR, 2.61 (95% CI, 1.89–3.60)] but not in patients who did not receive chemotherapy [P = 0.38; HR, 1.31 (95% CI, 0.71–2.42)]. Similar results were observed regardless of World Health Organization grade and after single- or multiagent chemotherapy.


Our study demonstrates an association between mMGMT and OS in 1p/19q-codeleted gliomas. MGMT promoter status should be considered as a stratification factor in future clinical trials of 1p/19q-codeleted gliomas that use OS as an endpoint.

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