Brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors are among the most fatal cancers and account for substantial morbidity and mortality in the United States. Population-based data from the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (a combined data set of the National Program of Cancer Registries [NPCR] and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results [SEER] registries), NPCR, National Vital Statistics System and SEER program were analyzed to assess the contemporary burden of malignant and nonmalignant brain and other CNS tumors (hereafter brain) by histology, anatomic site, age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Malignant brain tumor incidence rates declined by 0.8% annually from 2008 to 2017 for all ages combined but increased 0.5% to 0.7% per year among children and adolescents. Malignant brain tumor incidence is highest in males and non-Hispanic White individuals, whereas the rates for nonmalignant tumors are highest in females and non-Hispanic Black individuals. Five-year relative survival for all malignant brain tumors combined increased between 1975 to 1977 and 2009 to 2015 from 23% to 36%, with larger gains among younger age groups. Less improvement among older age groups largely reflects a higher burden of glioblastoma, for which there have been few major advances in prevention, early detection, and treatment the past 4 decades. Specifically, 5-year glioblastoma survival only increased from 4% to 7% during the same time period. In addition, important survival disparities by race/ethnicity remain for childhood tumors, with the largest Black-White disparities for diffuse astrocytomas (75% vs 86% for patients diagnosed during 2009-2015) and embryonal tumors (59% vs 67%). Increased resources for the collection and reporting of timely consistent data are critical for advancing research to elucidate the causes of sex, age, and racial/ethnic differences in brain tumor occurrence, especially for rarer subtypes and among understudied populations.
© 2021 The Authors. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Cancer Society.