Associations of genetic factors with malignant gliomas have been modest. We examined the relationships of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and related polymorphisms to glioblastoma multiforme in adult Caucasians (non-Hispanic Whites) from the San Francisco Bay area. For 155 glioblastoma multiforme patients and 157 control subjects closely matched by ethnicity, age, and gender, PCR-based techniques resolved alleles at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 loci along with short tandem repeat polymorphisms of MICA exon 5 and TNFb. By multivariable logistic regression, B*13 and the B*07-Cw*07 haplotype were positively associated with glioblastoma multiforme (P = 0.01 and <0.001, respectively), whereas Cw*01 was the only variant showing a negative association (P = 0.05). Among glioblastoma multiforme patients, progression to death after diagnosis was slower in those with A*32 (relative hazard, 0.45; P < 0.01) and faster in those with B*55 (relative hazard, 2.27; P < 0.01). Thus, both the occurrence and the prognosis of glioblastoma multiforme could be associated with specific but different HLA genotypes. B*07 and the B*07-Cw*07 haplotype are much more common in Caucasians than other ethnic groups in the U.S., which may partially explain the higher incidence of glioblastoma multiforme in Caucasians. Copyright © 2005 American Association for Cancer Research.