Diffuse intrinsic pontine tumors: a study of primitive neuroectodermal tumors versus the more common diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas.
ABSTRACT The diagnosis of diffuse pontine tumors has largely been made on the basis of MRI since the early 1990 s. In cases of tumors considered "typical," as a rule, no biopsy specimen has been obtained, and the tumors have been considered diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs). There have been sporadic reports that primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) of the pons may not be distinguishable from the DIPGs by radiological imaging. This study presents 2 cases of diffuse pontine PNETs with molecular evidence that these are indeed PNETs, distinct from DIPGs, thus supporting biopsy of diffuse pontine tumors as a standard of care.
Biopsy specimens were obtained from 7 diffuse pontine tumors and snap frozen. Two of these 7 tumors were identified on the basis of pathological examination as PNETs. All 7 of the diffuse pontine tumors were analyzed for gene expression using the Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip microarray. Gene expression was compared with that of supratentorial PNETs, medulloblastomas, and low- and high-grade gliomas outside the brainstem.
Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis of gene expression demonstrated that pontine PNETs are most closely related to PNETs of the supratentorial region and not with gliomas. They do not cluster with the 5 DIPGs in the study. Thirty-eight genes, including GATA3, are uniquely differentially expressed in pontine PNETs compared with other types of pediatric brain tumors, including DIPGs and other PNETs at a false discovery rate statistical significance of less than 0.05.
The cluster and individual gene expression analyses indicate that pontine PNETs are intrinsically different from DIPGs. The 2 pontine PNET cases cluster with supratentorial PNETs, rather than with DIPGs, suggesting that these tumors should be treated with a PNET regimen, not with DIPG therapy. Since diagnosis by imaging is not reliable and the biology of the tumors is disparate, a biopsy should be performed to enable accurate diagnosis and direct potentially more effective treatments.
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ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a highly morbid form of pediatric brainstem glioma. Here, we present the first comprehensive protein, mRNA, and methylation profiles of fresh-frozen DIPG specimens (n = 14), normal brain tissue (n = 10), and other pediatric brain tumors (n = 17). Protein profiling identified 2,305 unique proteins indicating distinct DIPG protein expression patterns compared to other pediatric brain tumors. Western blot and immunohistochemistry validated upregulation of Clusterin (CLU), Elongation Factor 2 (EF2), and Talin-1 (TLN1) in DIPGs studied. Comparisons to mRNA expression profiles generated from tumor and adjacent normal brain tissue indicated two DIPG subgroups, characterized by upregulation of Myc (N-Myc) or Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. We validated upregulation of PTCH, a membrane receptor in the Hh signaling pathway, in a subgroup of DIPG specimens. DNA methylation analysis indicated global hypomethylation of DIPG compared to adjacent normal tissue specimens, with differential methylation of 24 genes involved in Hh and Myc pathways, correlating with protein and mRNA expression patterns. Sequencing analysis showed c.83A>T mutations in the H3F3A or HIST1H3B gene in 77 % of our DIPG cohort. Supervised analysis revealed a unique methylation pattern in mutated specimens compared to the wild-type DIPG samples. This study presents the first comprehensive multidimensional protein, mRNA, and methylation profiling of pediatric brain tumor specimens, detecting the presence of two subgroups within our DIPG cohort. This multidimensional analysis of DIPG provides increased analytical power to more fully explore molecular signatures of DIPGs, with implications for evaluating potential molecular subtypes and biomarker discovery for assessing response to therapy.Acta Neuropathologica 12/2013; 127(6). DOI:10.1007/s00401-013-1218-2 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is the main cause of brain tumour-related death in children. In the majority of cases diagnosis is based on clinical and MRI findings, resulting in the scarcity of pre-treatment specimens available to study. Our group has developed an autopsy-based protocol to investigate the histologic and biologic spectrum of DIPG. This has also allowed us to investigate the terminal pattern of disease and gain a better understanding of what challenges we are facing in treating DIPG. Here, we review 72 DIPG cases with well documented clinical history and molecular data and describe the pathological features of this disease in relation to clinical and genetic features. Fifty-three of the samples were autopsy material (7 pre-treatment) and 19 were pre-treatment biopsy/surgical specimens. Upon histological review, 62 patients had high-grade astrocytomas (18 WHO grade III and 44 WHO grade IV patients), 8 had WHO grade II astrocytomas, and 2 had features of primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET). K27M-H3 mutations were exclusively found in tumours with WHO grade II–IV astrocytoma histology. K27M-H3.1 and ACVR1 mutations as well as ALT phenotype were only found in WHO grade III–IV astrocytomas, while PIK3CA mutations and PDGFRA gains/amplifications were found in WHO grade II–IV astrocytomas. Approximately 1/3 of DIPG patients had leptomeningeal spread of their tumour. Further, diffuse invasion of the brainstem, spinal cord and thalamus was common with some cases showing spread as distant as the frontal lobes. These findings suggest that focal radiation may be inadequate for some of these patients. Importantly, we show that clinically classic DIPGs represent a diverse histologic spectrum, including multiple cases which would fit WHO criteria of grade II astrocytoma which nevertheless behave clinically as high-grade astrocytomas and harbour the histone K27M-H3.3 mutation. This suggests that the current WHO astrocytoma grading scheme may not appropriately predict outcome for paediatric brainstem gliomas. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-014-1319-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Acta Neuropathologica 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1319-6 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECT Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS-PNET) arising in the brainstem are extremely rare, and knowledge about them is limited. The few existing case series report fatal outcomes. The purpose of this study was to analyze clinical characteristics of and outcome for brainstem CNS-PNET patients treated according to the consecutive, population-based HIT studies covering a 19-year time period. METHODS Between September 1992 and November 2011, 6 eligible children with histologically proven brainstem CNS-PNET not otherwise specified and 2 children with brainstem ependymoblastomas (3, partial resection; 3, subtotal resection; 2, biopsy), median age 3.3 years (range 1.2-10.6 years), were treated according to consecutive multimodal HIT protocols for CNS-PNET/medulloblastoma. Postoperative treatment was according to maintenance chemotherapy protocols (3, craniospinal irradiation [CSI] followed by maintenance chemotherapy), sandwich chemotherapy protocols (2, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, CSI, maintenance chemotherapy), or a therapy protocol for children younger than 4 years (3, postoperative chemotherapy followed by CSI). RESULTS The median duration of prediagnostic symptoms, predominantly cranial nerve deficits (n = 7), pyramidal tract signs (n = 5), or ataxia (n = 5), was 5 weeks (range 1-13 weeks). The tumors were all located in the pons. Most involved more than half of the pontine axial diameter and were sharply marginated. All patients had postoperative residual disease, including metastasis in 1 case. With 1 exception all tumors progressed early during treatment within 3.9 months (range 2.5-10.4 months), leading to a 1-year event-free survival rate (± standard error) of 13% ± 12%. After progression, patients succumbed early to their disease resulting in a 1-year overall survival rate of 25% ± 15%. The only surviving patient had a partially resected CNS-PNET, received a sandwich chemotherapy protocol, and is without disease progression 14 months after diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS CNS-PNET is a rare but important differential diagnosis in childhood brainstem tumors. So far, efficient therapies are lacking. The sampling of tumor material for improved biological understanding and identification of new therapeutic targets is important.Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics 01/2015; 15(3):1-9. DOI:10.3171/2014.9.PEDS14213 · 1.37 Impact Factor