Brain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland)

Genetic Analysis of Diffuse High-Grade Astrocytomas in Infancy Defines a Novel Molecular Entity.

PMID 25231549


Pediatric high-grade gliomas are considered to be different when compared to adult high-grade gliomas in their pathogenesis and biological behavior. Recently, common genetic alterations, including mutations in the H3F3A/ATRX/DAXX pathway, have been described in approximately 30% of the pediatric cases. However, only few cases of infant high-grade gliomas have been analyzed so far. We investigated the molecular features of 35 infants with diffuse high-grade astrocytomas, including 8 anaplastic astrocytomas [World Health Organization (WHO) grade III] and 27 glioblastomas (WHO grade IV) by immunohistochemistry, multiplex ligation probe-dependent amplification (MLPA), pyrosequencing of glioma-associated genes and molecular inversion probe (MIP) assay. MIP and MLPA analyses showed that chromosomal alterations are significantly less frequent in infants compared with high-grade gliomas in older children and adults. We only identified H3F3A K27M in 2 of 34 cases (5.9%), with both tumors located in the posterior fossa. PDGFRA amplifications were absent, and CDKN2A loss could be observed only in two cases. Conversely, 1q gain (22.7%) and 6q loss (18.2%) were identified in a subgroup of tumors. Loss of SNORD located on chromosome 14q32 was observed in 27.3% of the infant tumors, a focal copy number change not previously described in gliomas. Our findings indicate that infant high-grade gliomas appear to represent a distinct genetic entity suggesting a different pathogenesis and biological behavior.