WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System

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There are a number of examples of diagnostic entities that have been removed from the handbook. For instance, Gliomatosis cerebrii, has been removed. This is a rare tumor that does not appear in a specific part of the brain. Rather it appears as a hazy picture over a large area. A number of other classifications have also been removed.

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WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System, 4th Edition

Subscribe to our newsletter You will receive our monthly newsletter and free access to Trip Premium. Mutated TP53 genes and overexpressed abnormal p53 protein, which has a longer half-life than wild type p53, are associated with a variety of human cancers, including Li-Fraumeni syndrome and many hereditary gliomas. As mentioned in the introduction, the p53 signaling pathway is one of the major abrogated pathways of astrocytic tumors including GBMs. However, these alterations are rare in oligodendrogliomas, well-circumscribed astrocytic tumors including pilocytic astrocytomas, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas, and subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, ependymomas, and embryonal tumors such as medulloblastoma, except for the SHH-type, pactivated subgroup.

It binds strongly within the promyelocytic leukemia body of the nucleus. Functional mutations of this gene have been associated with sister chromatid clumps and defects, abnormal DNA methylation, and the maintenance of telomerase-independent telomeres, resulting in an alternative lengthening of telomeres ALT. Recurrent mutations in H3F3A , which encodes the replication-independent histone 3 variant H3.

The histone H3F3A mutant gliomas have a poor prognosis regardless of histopathological grade. All of the cases with GH3. FUBP1 is located in 1p FUBP1 acts as an RNA binding protein and alterations of its normal function can lead to tumorigenesis, which has been suggested to act either as a protooncogene or a tumor suppressor gene depending on the tumor type [ 36 , 87 ].

The CIC gene on chromosome 19q Although the function of human CIC protein is not known, a recent study in cultured cells demonstrated that CIC acts together with IDH1 to regulate citrate levels in the cytoplasm. Loss of 19q in oligodendroglial tumors unmasks mutations in the CIC gene [ 87 , 90 ]. The overall survival rate of patients with oligodendrogliomas with CIC mutations was lower than that of patients without CIC mutations, and the FUBP1 mutation was significantly associated with unfavorable progression-free survival [ 15 ].

EGFR immunohistochemistry is usually uniform in tumors expressing high levels of the protein, however, EGFRvIII staining is heterogeneous and usually present in only a subset of tumor cells. Therefore, representative sampling of tumor tissue is important to avoid false-negative results [ 56 , 57 ]. It is also one of the more commonly altered genes in PXA and high grade gliomas in both adults and children Fig. After adjusting for the IDH mutational status, sex, and age, CDKN2A deletions were strongly associated with poorer overall survival in astrocytomas but not in oligodendrogliomas [ 18 ].

In , a tandem duplication was confirmed in 7q34, and a new fusion gene was found to be generated by a fusion between the KIAA gene and BRAF genes, which was previously uncharacterized in pilocytic astrocytomas [ 58 ]. The BRAF VE mutation was found in two-thirds of all pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas, one-fourth of gangliogliomas, and one-seventh of pilocytic astrocytomas [ 35 ]. As a result, all of the patients with secondary high-grade glioma sHGGs containing mutant BRAF were diagnosed at age 9 or older [ 96 ].

TERTp mutations Human telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that regulates the length of telomeric DNA at the ends of chromosomes; therefore, it plays an important role in cellular immortalization and oncogenesis [ 13 ]. Chan et al. A relative telomere length is strongly correlated with TERTp mutations. The prognostic effect of the TERTp mutation is controversial.

Some studies have suggested that TERTp mutations in low-grade gliomas are associated with shorter progression-free survival [ ]. Other researchers have found that TERTp mutations are a predictor of a poorer response to temozolomide [ ]. Therefore, when using the TERTp mutational status as a prognostic factor, other factors such as mutations in IDH and tumor grade should be considered [ ].

C11orfRELA fusions result from chromothripsis involving chromosome 11q Furthermore, the C11orfRELA fusion protein was found to spontaneously translocate to the nucleus to activate NF-kB target genes, and to rapidly transform neural stem cells, the cell of origin for ependymomas, to form these tumors in mice, which is a poor prognostic marker Table 2 [ 34 ].

Nuclear myc protein has multiple functions such as cell cycle progression, apoptosis, and cellular transformation. C19MC amplification is a genetic feature of embryonal tumors with multilayer rosettes ETMR , supratentorial ependymomas, and medulloepitheliomas Table 2 [ ]. This abnormality can be detected by FISH. MGMT promoter hypermethylation induces gene silencing and susceptibility to combined temozolomide and radiation therapy.

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In cases of oligodendroglioma with promoter methylation of the MGMT gene, whether or not PCV chemotherapy is advantageous remains controversial [ 59 ]. However, it is still considered to be the most accurate predictive factor for survival during PCV chemotherapy [ 60 ]. Immunohistochemical studies Some of the genetic changes can be detected by immunohistochemical studies. TP53 mutations are detected by the complete loss of expression or overexpression via the stabilization of the mutant protein.

Mutations in several genes give rise to the overexpression or loss of proteins, depending on whether the mutation is a gain of function or a loss of function mutation, respectively. For example, p53 nuclear overexpression reflects a TP53 mutation, and p16 nuclear and cytoplasmic losses are associated with a CDKN2A homozygous deletion. Among these, all but TP53 have high correlations between immunohistochemical results and molecular genetic studies.

The correlation rate of p53 between immunohistochemistry and mutation studies is low. This is because p53 immunoreactivity may have resulted from the prolongation of half-life either due to p53 mutations or the accumulation of wild type protein brought about by mechanisms other than those caused by mutations, such as a complex formation with MDM2 overexpression products [ ], whereas p53 negativity can be observed by the methylation of the TP53 promoter.

Therefore, overexpression of p53 protein is not always associated with mutations in conserved exons of the p53 gene. Direct sequencing The rapidly growing number of prognostic and predictive genetic markers in neuro-oncology has led to an increasing need for a more thorough molecular analysis of brain tumor specimens in a modern pathology setting. Although several diagnostically important mutations can be detected by immunohistochemistry, this is not the case for the full spectrum of alterations now known to be of relevance.

The sequencing conditions, primer sequences, and PCR product sizes that are currently being used for brain tumor diagnosis are summarized in Table 5. In order to detect mutations in CIC missense mutations or small in-frame deletions and FUBP1 indel, splicing alteration, and nonsense mutations in the functional regions such as the HMG box and CI motif, NGS is required because the mutation sites of these two genes are widely distributed along the coding regions [ 88 ]. Sanger sequencing is a method of DNA sequencing based on the selective incorporation of chain-terminating dideoxynucleotides by DNA polymerase during DNA replication in vitro , which was developed by Frederick Sanger and colleagues in [ 91 ].

Recently, one-step Sanger sequencing combining the amplification and sequencing steps methods such as Ampliseq and SeqSharp have been developed that allows for rapid sequencing of target genes without cloning or prior amplification. However, covering all potentially clinically relevant genes in a routine diagnostic setting by these methods has become virtually impossible. Reliable high-throughput methods allowing for parallel analysis of multiple targets emerged as an attractive alternative for comprehensive diagnostic neuropathology. NGS provides opportunities to evaluate many genomic targets with high accuracy and sensitivity due to high sequencing coverage.

However, the Sanger method is widely used for small-scale projects, and validation of NGS results, especially long serial DNA sequence reads that are greater than nucleotides. It differs from Sanger sequencing in that it relies on the detection of pyrophosphates that are released upon nucleotide incorporation rather than chain termination with dideoxynucleotides. NGS More recently, high volume Sanger sequencing has been supplanted by NGS methods, especially for large-scale, automated genome analyses. NGS is a high-capacity parallel sequencing process that handles hundreds to millions of DNA fragments simultaneously [ , ].

Currently, there are second- and third-generation sequencing technologies that continue to reduce the cost of DNA sequencing and improve accuracy. The ability to multiplex several samples also leads to increased throughput and reduced cost. Soon, NGS will enter clinical practices but it is still uncertain whether it can replace the established techniques. Depending on the type of NGS panel, it can only detect single nucleotide variations and indels or embrace CNV and translocations.

The performance of the NGS panel requires rigorous validations and strict quality control for its sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.


There are several NGS panels for brain tumor companion diagnosis [ 78 , 79 , 95 , ]. A comparison of different NGS-based diagnostic tools is summarized in Lapin et al. The probes and reading criteria of currently used FISH for the diagnosis and prognosis of brain tumors are summarized in Table 6.

When the amount of DNA is insufficient to carry out the single nucleotide polymorphism or CGH array, microsatellite analysis is performed to evaluate via PCR to determine whether there is a LOH of chromosome 1p and 19q [ ]. For each hybridization, the number of green and orange signals is assessed for a minimum of nonoverlapping nuclei. Such deletions most likely correspond to a LOH Fig. However, with increasing grades of malignancy, genomic polyploidies may be encountered.


These chromosomal polysomies may be balanced e. Whether an imbalance situation with relative loss of the target 1p or 19q corresponds to a hemizygous deletion in the presence of reduplication cannot be solved by FISH. The primer set is described in Table 5.

I have a brain tumor.....

They usually arise in the cerebral hemispheres and are defined by their widely infiltrative properties and tendency for biological progression. According to the WHO criteria, gliomas can be classified using combined histological and molecular markers as diffuse astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors, other astrocytic tumors, ependymal tumors, or other gliomas. The diagnosis of CNS tumors is historically primarily based on histopathological features.

However, studies have shown that patients with morphologically identical tumors have different clinical outcomes and treatment responses due to the different molecular genetic characteristics of the tumor. Therefore, many molecular markers became deeply integrated into the diagnosis of CNS tumors and are now used to guide prognosis and treatment of patients. They are favorable prognostic markers and are genomic abnormalities initially present in both astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors.

WHO classification of CNS tumors | Radiology Reference Article | guirehanfici.ga

Therefore, from the revised version of fourth edition of the CNS Tumor Classification, these two tumor categories have been combined as diffuse astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors [ 7 ]. Furthermore, mutations in IDH are rare unless the patient is an adolescent Fig. Medulloblastomas and other embryonic tumors Medulloblastomas have been recently divided into several subtypes based on specific driver mutations including WNT , SHH , group 3, and group 4 [ - ]. CTNNB1 mutations can be present in classical-type medulloblastomas and adamantinomatous-type craniopharyngiomas [ 61 , , ].

If certain tumors are morphologically similar to these tumors, i.

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