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Some patients with glioblastoma multiform do not respond to temozolomide even though they have aberrant promoter methylation of the DNA repair enzyme O6-methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT). This suggests that additional factors hamper temozolomide cytotoxicity. We aimed to confirm first that temozolomide is a target for the multidrug resistance transporter MDR1/ABCB1 and second to investigate whether genetic variants of the MDR1 gene are associated with the survival of glioblastoma patients treated with temozolomide.Temozolomide-mediated cytotoxicity was determined by the colorimetric methyl-thiazol-tetrazolium assay in MDR-expressing and MDR-nonexpressing cell lines. Genotypes of three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the MDR1 gene (C1236T, G2677T, and C3435T), MDR1 mRNA expression levels, and the MGMT promoter methylation status were analyzed in 112 glioblastoma patients who had been treated either by surgery plus radiotherapy alone or by additional temozolomide chemotherapy.In vitro analysis revealed that temozolomide-mediated cytotoxicity is dependent on MDR1 expression. Multivariate analysis of MDR1 genotypes showed that the C/C variant of the exon12 C1236T SNP is predictive for survival of patients treated with temozolomide. This effect was independent of the MGMT methylation status. Patients with the C/C genotype had a 2-year overall survival of 37% compared with 8% and 10% for patients with C/T and T/T genotypes, respectively (P=0.02). No influence was seen in the group of patients with radiotherapy only.The genotype of the MDR1 exon12 C1236T SNP is a novel independent predictive factor for outcome of temozolomide treatment in glioblastoma patients.