Abstract Background Recent studies have proposed several gene signatures as biomarkers for different grades of gliomas from various perspectives. However, most of these genes can only be used appropriately for patients with specific grades of gliomas. Methods In this study, we aimed to identify survival-relevant genes shared between glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and lower-grade glioma (LGG), which could be used as potential biomarkers to classify patients into different risk groups. Cox proportional hazard regression model (Cox model) was used to extract relative genes, and effectiveness of genes was estimated against random forest regression. Finally, risk models were constructed with logistic regression. Results We identified 104 key genes that were shared between GBM and LGG, which could be significantly correlated with patientsâ survival based on next-generation sequencing data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas for gene expression analysis. The effectiveness of these genes in the survival prediction of GBM and LGG was evaluated, and the average receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) area under the curve values ranged from 0.7 to 0.8. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that these genes were involved in eight significant pathways and 23 molecular functions. Moreover, the expressions of ten (CTSZ, EFEMP2, ITGA5, KDELR2, MDK, MICALL2, MAPÂ 2â K3, PLAUR, SERPINE1, and SOCS3) of these genes were significantly higher in GBM than in LGG, and comparing their expression levels to those of the proposed control genes (TBP, IPO8, and SDHA) could have the potential capability to classify patients into high- and low- risk groups, which differ significantly in the overall survival. Signatures of candidate genes were validated, by multiple microarray datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus, to increase the robustness of using these potential prognostic factors. In both the GBM and LGG cohort study, most of the patients in the high-risk group had the IDH1 wild-type gene, and those in the low-risk group had IDH1 mutations. Moreover, most of the high-risk patients with LGG possessed a 1p/19q-noncodeletion. Conclusion In this study, we identified survival relevant genes which were shared between GBM and LGG, and those enabled to classify patients into high- and low-risk groups based on expression level analysis. Both the risk groups could be correlated with the well-known genetic variants, thus suggesting their potential prognostic value in clinical application.