HFE polymorphisms affect survival of brain tumor patients

Sang Y. Lee, Becky Slagle-Webb, Jonas M. Sheehan, Junjia Zhu, Joshua E. Muscat, Michael Glantz, James R. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The HFE (high iron) protein plays a key role in the regulation of body iron. HFE polymorphisms (H63D and C282Y) are the common genetic variants in Caucasians. Based on frequency data, both HFE polymorphisms have been associated with increased risk in a number of cancers. The prevalence of the two major HFE polymorphisms in a human brain tumor patient populations and the impact of HFE polymorphisms on survival have not been studied. In the present study, there is no overall difference in survival by HFE genotype. However, male GBM patients with H63D HFE (H63D) have poorer overall survival than wild type HFE (WT) male GBM (p = 0.03). In GBM patients with the C282Y HFE polymorphism (C282Y), female patients have poorer survival than male patients (p = 0.05). In addition, female metastatic brain tumor patients with C282Y have shorter survival times post diagnosis than WT patients (p = 0.02) or male metastatic brain tumor patients with C282Y (p = 0.02). There is a tendency toward a lower proportion of H63D genotype in GBM patients than a non-tumor control group (p = 0.09) or other subtypes of brain tumors. In conclusion, our study suggests that HFE genotype impacts survival of brain tumor patients in a gender specific manner. We previously reported that glioma and neuroblastoma cell lines with HFE polymorphisms show greater resistance to chemo and radiotherapy. Taken together, these data suggest HFE genotype is an important consideration for evaluating and planning therapeutic strategies in brain tumor patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • Glioblastoma
  • HFE polymorphism
  • Metastatic brain tumor
  • Patient survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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