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International journal of cancer

Molecular characterization of long-term survivors of glioblastoma using genome- and transcriptome-wide profiling.


PMID 24615357

Abstract

The prognosis of glioblastoma, the most malignant type of glioma, is still poor, with only a minority of patients showing long-term survival of more than three years after diagnosis. To elucidate the molecular aberrations in glioblastomas of long-term survivors, we performed genome- and/or transcriptome-wide molecular profiling of glioblastoma samples from 94 patients, including 28 long-term survivors with >36 months overall survival (OS), 20 short-term survivors with <12 months OS and 46 patients with intermediate OS. Integrative bioinformatic analyses were used to characterize molecular aberrations in the distinct survival groups considering established molecular markers such as isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDH1/2) mutations, and O(6) -methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation. Patients with long-term survival were younger and more often had IDH1/2-mutant and MGMT-methylated tumors. Gene expression profiling revealed over-representation of a distinct (proneural-like) expression signature in long-term survivors that was linked to IDH1/2 mutation. However, IDH1/2-wildtype glioblastomas from long-term survivors did not show distinct gene expression profiles and included proneural, classical and mesenchymal glioblastoma subtypes. Genomic imbalances also differed between IDH1/2-mutant and IDH1/2-wildtype tumors, but not between survival groups of IDH1/2-wildtype patients. Thus, our data support an important role for MGMT promoter methylation and IDH1/2 mutation in glioblastoma long-term survival and corroborate the association of IDH1/2 mutation with distinct genomic and transcriptional profiles. Importantly, however, IDH1/2-wildtype glioblastomas in our cohort of long-term survivors lacked distinctive DNA copy number changes and gene expression signatures, indicating that other factors might have been responsible for long survival in this particular subgroup of patients.