The authors review the current literature on the major biological advances in the molecular testing of brain tumors. The incorporation of several new aspects required for proper disease management into the classical pathology service is in the focus of the review. One of the important achievements of the last years in neuro-oncology is the observation that the promoter methylation status of the MGMT (O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase) gene determines the treatment efficacy of temozolomide (Temodal) in glioblastomas. This can best be evaluated by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) using tumor tissue obtained for histological evaluation. Further to this, up-regulation of EGFR signaling through gene amplification has been recognized and targeted by anti-EGFR approaches in high-grade gliomas. The EGFRvIII mutant receptor is practically unique to glioma cells hence analysis of EGFR seems to be justifiably demanded either by oncologists or patients. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) can easily be included in routine laboratory workflow. In addition to this FISH analysis can be performed for the assessment of EGFR gene copy numbers at cellular level. Studying the EGFR status at a genetic and simultaneously at the protein expression level seems to be a valid approach for making treatment decision. Similarly complex and even less clear biological background characterizes the behavior of tumors with oligodendroglial differentiation. The deletion of the chromosomal regions 1p and 19q was found to be associated with favorable outcome and good response to the PCV treatment protocol. Therapeutic decisions are therefore also enabled on the basis of the 1p/19q status. Concurrent temozolomide/radiation therapy is often indicated on the basis of 1p/19q testing. The 1p/19q status can be assessed by FISH or, less frequently, by aCGH or LOH assay. Based on the in-depth overview of the literature the authors highly recommend the adaptation of molecular glioma testing that most efficiently could be done in centralized neuropathology laboratories. This approach would comply with the increasing need for personalized ("tailored") therapy while best satisfying cost/benefit issues.
|Translated title of the contribution||Predictive molecular pathological testing in the diagnosis of high-grade tumors of glial origin|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2009|
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