Publications by authors named "Caterina Giannini"

305 Publications

Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma of Peripheral Nerve with Distinctive Pathological Features Resembling Primary CNS Lymphoma.

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2022 Jan;81(1):76-78

Department of Laboratory of Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnen/nlab117DOI Listing
January 2022

Lipochoristoma of the Cerebellopontine Angle.

Otol Neurotol 2021 Nov 11. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Department of Neurologic Surgery Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAO.0000000000003412DOI Listing
November 2021

SeekFusion - A Clinically Validated Fusion Transcript Detection Pipeline for PCR-Based Next-Generation Sequencing of RNA.

Front Genet 2021 22;12:739054. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

Quantitative Health Sciences, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States.

Detecting gene fusions involving driver oncogenes is pivotal in clinical diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. Recent developments in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have enabled improved assays for bioinformatics-based gene fusions detection. In clinical applications, where a small number of fusions are clinically actionable, targeted polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based NGS chemistries, such as the QIAseq RNAscan assay, aim to improve accuracy compared to standard RNA sequencing. Existing informatics methods for gene fusion detection in NGS-based RNA sequencing assays traditionally use a transcriptome-based spliced alignment approach or a assembly approach. Transcriptome-based spliced alignment methods face challenges with short read mapping yielding low quality alignments. assembly-based methods yield longer contigs from short reads that can be more sensitive for genomic rearrangements, but face performance and scalability challenges. Consequently, there exists a need for a method to efficiently and accurately detect fusions in targeted PCR-based NGS chemistries. We describe SeekFusion, a highly accurate and computationally efficient pipeline enabling identification of gene fusions from PCR-based NGS chemistries. Utilizing biological samples processed with the QIAseq RNAscan assay and in-silico simulated data we demonstrate that SeekFusion gene fusion detection accuracy outperforms popular existing methods such as STAR-Fusion, TOPHAT-Fusion and JAFFA-hybrid. We also present results from 4,484 patient samples tested for neurological tumors and sarcoma, encompassing details on some novel fusions identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.739054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8569241PMC
October 2021

Genetic and epigenetic characterization of posterior pituitary tumors.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 12 18;142(6):1025-1043. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

Department of Pathology, Neuropathology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Pituicytoma (PITUI), granular cell tumor (GCT), and spindle cell oncocytoma (SCO) are rare tumors of the posterior pituitary. Histologically, they may be challenging to distinguish and have been proposed to represent a histological spectrum of a single entity. We performed targeted next-generation sequencing, DNA methylation profiling, and copy number analysis on 47 tumors (14 PITUI; 12 GCT; 21 SCO) to investigate molecular features and explore possibilities of clinically meaningful tumor subclassification. We detected two main epigenomic subgroups by unsupervised clustering of DNA methylation data, though the overall methylation differences were subtle. The largest group (n = 23) contained most PITUIs and a subset of SCOs and was enriched for pathogenic mutations within genes in the MAPK/PI3K pathways (12/17 [71%] of sequenced tumors: FGFR1 (3), HRAS (3), BRAF (2), NF1 (2), CBL (1), MAP2K2 (1), PTEN (1)) and two with accompanying TERT promoter mutation. The second group (n = 16) contained most GCTs and a subset of SCOs, all of which mostly lacked identifiable genetic drivers. Outcome analysis demonstrated that the presence of chromosomal imbalances was significantly associated with reduced progression-free survival especially within the combined PITUI and SCO group (p = 0.031). In summary, we observed only subtle DNA methylation differences between posterior pituitary tumors, indicating that these tumors may be best classified as subtypes of a single entity. Nevertheless, our data indicate differences in mutation patterns and clinical outcome. For a clinically meaningful subclassification, we propose a combined histo-molecular approach into three subtypes: one subtype is defined by granular cell histology, scarcity of identifiable oncogenic mutations, and favorable outcome. The other two subtypes have either SCO or PITUI histology but are segregated by chromosomal copy number profile into a favorable group (no copy number changes) and a less favorable group (copy number imbalances present). Both of the latter groups have recurrent MAPK/PI3K genetic alterations that represent potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02377-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568760PMC
December 2021

Subgroup and subtype-specific outcomes in adult medulloblastoma.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 11 18;142(5):859-871. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam National University Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital and Medical School, Hwasun-gun, Chonnam, South Korea.

Medulloblastoma, a common pediatric malignant central nervous system tumour, represent a small proportion of brain tumours in adults. Previously it has been shown that in adults, Sonic Hedgehog (SHH)-activated tumours predominate, with Wingless-type (WNT) and Group 4 being less common, but molecular risk stratification remains a challenge. We performed an integrated analysis consisting of genome-wide methylation profiling, copy number profiling, somatic nucleotide variants and correlation of clinical variables across a cohort of 191 adult medulloblastoma cases identified through the Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium. We identified 30 WNT, 112 SHH, 6 Group 3, and 41 Group 4 tumours. Patients with SHH tumours were significantly older at diagnosis compared to other subgroups (p < 0.0001). Five-year progression-free survival (PFS) for WNT, SHH, Group 3, and Group 4 tumours was 64.4 (48.0-86.5), 61.9% (51.6-74.2), 80.0% (95% CI 51.6-100.0), and 44.9% (95% CI 28.6-70.7), respectively (p = 0.06). None of the clinical variables (age, sex, metastatic status, extent of resection, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) were associated with subgroup-specific PFS. Survival among patients with SHH tumours was significantly worse for cases with chromosome 3p loss (HR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.6; p = 0.02), chromosome 10q loss (HR 4.6, 95% CI 2.3-9.4; p < 0.0001), chromosome 17p loss (HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.8; p = 0.02), and PTCH1 mutations (HR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.2; p = 0.04). The prognostic significance of 3p loss and 10q loss persisted in multivariable regression models. For Group 4 tumours, chromosome 8 loss was strongly associated with improved survival, which was validated in a non-overlapping cohort (combined cohort HR 0.2, 95% CI 0.1-0.7; p = 0.007). Unlike in pediatric medulloblastoma, whole chromosome 11 loss in Group 4 and chromosome 14q loss in SHH was not associated with improved survival, where MYCN, GLI2 and MYC amplification were rare. In sum, we report unique subgroup-specific cytogenetic features of adult medulloblastoma, which are distinct from those in younger patients, and correlate with survival disparities. Our findings suggest that clinical trials that incorporate new strategies tailored to high-risk adult medulloblastoma patients are urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02358-4DOI Listing
November 2021

Polymorphous Low-Grade Neuroepithelial Tumor of the Young (PLNTY): Molecular Profiling Confirms Frequent MAPK Pathway Activation.

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2021 09;80(9):821-829

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Polymorphous low-grade neuroepithelial tumor of the young (PLNTY) is a recently described epileptogenic tumor characterized by oligodendroglioma-like components, aberrant CD34 expression, and frequent mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway activation. We molecularly profiled 13 cases with diagnostic histopathological features of PLNTY (10 female; median age, 16 years; range, 5-52). Patients frequently presented with seizures (9 of 12 with available history) and temporal lobe tumors (9 of 13). MAPK pathway activating alterations were identified in all 13 cases. Fusions were present in the 7 youngest patients: FGFR2-CTNNA3 (n = 2), FGFR2-KIAA1598 (FGFR2-SHTN1) (n = 1), FGFR2-INA (n = 1), FGFR2-MPRIP (n = 1), QKI-NTRK2 (n = 1), and KIAA1549-BRAF (n = 1). BRAF V600E mutation was present in 6 patients (17 years or older). Two fusion-positive cases additionally harbored TP53/RB1 abnormalities suggesting biallelic inactivation. Copy number changes predominantly involving whole chromosomes were observed in all 10 evaluated cases, with losses of chromosome 10q occurring with FGFR2-KIAA1598 (SHTN1)/CTNNA3 fusions. The KIAA1549-BRAF and QKI-NTRK2 fusions were associated respectively with a 7q34 deletion and 9q21 duplication. This study shows that despite its name, PLNTY also occurs in older adults, who frequently show BRAF V600E mutation. It also expands the spectrum of the MAPK pathway activating alterations associated with PLNTY and demonstrates recurrent chromosomal copy number changes consistent with chromosomal instability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnen/nlab075DOI Listing
September 2021

Delaying Postoperative Radiotherapy in Low-Grade Esthesioneuroblastoma: Is It Worth the Wait?

J Neurol Surg B Skull Base 2021 Jul 25;82(Suppl 3):e166-e171. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, United States.

 Consensus in timing of radiotherapy is yet to be established in esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB).  This study was aimed to investigate if planned adjuvant radiotherapy improves tumor control after complete margin negative resection of low Hyams' grade (1 or 2) ENB.  A retrospective review of patients with pathologically confirmed negative margin resection of Kadish's stage B or C and Hyams' grade 1 and 2 ENBs was conducted. Seventeen patients meeting the criteria were divided into the following two groups for cohort study: (1) those who underwent planned immediate postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy (IR group) and (2) those who did not (delayed radiotherapy [DR] group).  The IR group included nine patients (Kadish's stage B in one and stage C in eight; Hyams' grade 1 in two and grade 2 in seven). Mean follow-up was 140.8 months. Seven patients (78%) had disease progression (DP) at a median of 88 months (four with cervical lymph node metastasis [CLNM], one with distant metastasis, and two with both local recurrence and CLNM). One patient experienced frontal lobe abscess. The DR group included eight patients (Kadish's stage B in six and stage C in two; all Hyams' grade 2). Mean follow-up was 123.3 months. Four (50%) patients who developed DP (all local recurrence) were salvaged with surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy at a median of 37.5 months. There was no statistically significant difference in DP rate (  = 0.23), time to DP (  = 0.26), or the local tumor control rate (  = 0.23).  In our limited cohort, immediate postoperative radiotherapy did not demonstrate superiority in tumor control, although risk of radiotherapy toxicity appears low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1708854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8289555PMC
July 2021

Histopathology and prognosis of germ cell tumors metastatic to brain: cohort study.

J Neurooncol 2021 Aug 16;154(1):121-130. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Introduction: Germ cell tumors (GCTs) are uncommon neoplasms predominantly arising in midline tissues. The prognostic significance of histopathology in predicting metastatic GCT behavior is poorly understood.

Methods: Multicenter international cohort study including 29 patients with GCTs metastatic to brain were retrospectively investigated (18 patients from Mayo Clinic and 11 patients from the intracranial germ cell tumor genome analysis consortium in Japan). Clinical characteristics were analyzed using the Chi-square test (two-tailed) for categorical variables and using the log-rank test for survival data.

Results: Median age at treatment was 31 years (range 14-58). Primary disease sites were testis (71%), mediastinum (18%), and female reproductive organs (11%). Median metastatic interval was 223 days (range, 6-6124). Median follow-up was 346 days (range, 1-5356), with 16 deaths (57%) occurring after the median overall survival of 455 days. Actuarial one-year survival was 51%; 12-of-16 deaths (75%) were attributed to intracranial disease. Appearance of the same GCT subtype at the metastatic site as the primary was high for non-seminomatous GCT (NSGCT, 64-100%), but low for seminoma/dysgerminoma and mature teratoma (MT, 14, 17%, respectively). Gain of a new component was seen in 4 (20%)-3 of which included embryonal carcinoma (EC) at the primary site (75%). Incidence of cases without seminoma/dysgerminoma increased significantly after metastasis (p = 0.02). Metastatic interval was shorter in cases with histological change (199 vs 454 days, p = 0.009). Overall survival was associated with MT primary histopathology (p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Histological differentiation at the primary GCT site influences metastatic prognosis. Aggressive behavior is associated with NSGCT, while EC frequently demonstrates multi-directional histological differentiation after brain metastasis, and such histological dynamism is associated with shorter metastatic interval. Most metastases occurred within one year of diagnosis, emphasizing the need for close surveillance in newly diagnosed extra-cranial GCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-021-03810-xDOI Listing
August 2021

Preclinical modeling in GBM PDX xenografts to guide clinical development of lisavanbulin - a novel tumor checkpoint controller targeting microtubules.

Neuro Oncol 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) is an incurable disease with few approved therapeutic interventions. Radiation therapy (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ) remain the standards of care. The efficacy and optimal deployment schedule of the orally bioavailable small-molecule tumor checkpoint controller lisavanbulin alone, and in combination with, standards of care were assessed using a panel of IDH-wildtype GBM patient-derived xenografts.

Methods: Mice bearing intracranial tumors received lisavanbulin +/- RT +/- TMZ and followed for survival. Lisavanbulin concentrations in plasma and brain were determined by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry, while flow cytometry was used for cell cycle analysis.

Results: Lisavanbulin monotherapy showed significant benefit (p<0.01) in 9 of 14 PDXs tested (median survival extension 9-84%) and brain-to-plasma ratios of 1.3 and 1.6 at 2- and 6-hours post-dose, respectively, validating previous data suggesting significant exposure in the brain. Prolonged lisavanbulin dosing from RT start until moribund was required for maximal benefit (GBM6: median survival lisavanbulin/RT 90 vs. RT alone 69 days, p=0.0001; GBM150: lisavanbulin/RT 143 days vs. RT alone 73 days, p=0.06). Similar observations were seen with RT/TMZ combinations (GBM39: RT/TMZ/lisavanbulin 502 days vs. RT/TMZ 249 days, p=0.0001; GBM26: RT/TMZ/lisavanbulin 172 days vs. RT/TMZ 121 days, p=0.04). Immunohistochemical analyses showed a significant increase in phospho-histone H3 with lisavanbulin treatment (p=0.01).

Conclusions: Lisavanbulin demonstrated excellent brain penetration, significant extension of survival alone or in RT or RT/TMZ combinations and was associated with mitotic arrest. These data provide a strong clinical rationale for testing lisavanbulin in combination with RT or RT/TMZ in GBM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noab162DOI Listing
July 2021

Sarcomatous Meningioma: Diagnostic Pitfalls and the Utility of Molecular Testing.

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2021 09;80(8):764-768

Department of Pathology, San Francisco, California, USA.

Anaplastic meningiomas can have a sarcomatous appearance on histology but true sarcomatous (metaplastic) differentiation is rare. These tumors follow an aggressive clinical course with recurrence and poor clinical outcomes. Due to significant overlap in morphology and immunohistochemical profiles, distinguishing between sarcomatous transformation of a meningioma and a true sarcoma can be challenging. Here, we outline potential diagnostic pitfalls and the utility of ancillary molecular testing in 3 patients diagnosed with sarcomatous meningiomas. We report loss of typical meningothelial markers in sarcomatous meningiomas. Ancillary molecular testing can support the diagnosis of sarcomatous meningioma when a molecular signature consistent with meningioma is seen, such as inactivation of the NF2 gene. Recognition of this rare transformation in meningioma can prevent a misdiagnosis of a primary sarcoma, whether sporadic or radiation-induced from prior treatment of a more classic meningioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnen/nlab053DOI Listing
September 2021

Heterogeneous delivery across the blood-brain barrier limits the efficacy of an EGFR-targeting antibody drug conjugate in glioblastoma.

Neuro Oncol 2021 12;23(12):2042-2053

Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Background: Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), such as depatuxizumab mafodotin (Depatux-M), is a promising therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma (GBM) but recent clinical trials did not demonstrate a survival benefit. Understanding the mechanisms of failure for this promising strategy is critically important.

Methods: PDX models were employed to study efficacy of systemic vs intracranial delivery of Depatux-M. Immunofluorescence and MALDI-MSI were performed to detect drug levels in the brain. EGFR levels and compensatory pathways were studied using quantitative flow cytometry, Western blots, RNAseq, FISH, and phosphoproteomics.

Results: Systemic delivery of Depatux-M was highly effective in nine of 10 EGFR-amplified heterotopic PDXs with survival extending beyond one year in eight PDXs. Acquired resistance in two PDXs (GBM12 and GBM46) was driven by suppression of EGFR expression or emergence of a novel short-variant of EGFR lacking the epitope for the Depatux-M antibody. In contrast to the profound benefit observed in heterotopic tumors, only two of seven intrinsically sensitive PDXs were responsive to Depatux-M as intracranial tumors. Poor efficacy in orthotopic PDXs was associated with limited and heterogeneous distribution of Depatux-M into tumor tissues, and artificial disruption of the BBB or bypass of the BBB by direct intracranial injection of Depatux-M into orthotopic tumors markedly enhanced the efficacy of drug treatment.

Conclusions: Despite profound intrinsic sensitivity to Depatux-M, limited drug delivery into brain tumor may have been a key contributor to lack of efficacy in recently failed clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noab133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8643472PMC
December 2021

Toward a better definition of focal cortical dysplasia: An iterative histopathological and genetic agreement trial.

Epilepsia 2021 06 5;62(6):1416-1428. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

Objective: Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is a major cause of difficult-to-treat epilepsy in children and young adults, and the diagnosis is currently based on microscopic review of surgical brain tissue using the International League Against Epilepsy classification scheme of 2011. We developed an iterative histopathological agreement trial with genetic testing to identify areas of diagnostic challenges in this widely used classification scheme.

Methods: Four web-based digital pathology trials were completed by 20 neuropathologists from 15 countries using a consecutive series of 196 surgical tissue blocks obtained from 22 epilepsy patients at a single center. Five independent genetic laboratories performed screening or validation sequencing of FCD-relevant genes in paired brain and blood samples from the same 22 epilepsy patients.

Results: Histopathology agreement based solely on hematoxylin and eosin stainings was low in Round 1, and gradually increased by adding a panel of immunostainings in Round 2 and the Delphi consensus method in Round 3. Interobserver agreement was good in Round 4 (kappa = .65), when the results of genetic tests were disclosed, namely, MTOR, AKT3, and SLC35A2 brain somatic mutations in five cases and germline mutations in DEPDC5 and NPRL3 in two cases.

Significance: The diagnoses of FCD 1 and 3 subtypes remained most challenging and were often difficult to differentiate from a normal homotypic or heterotypic cortical architecture. Immunohistochemistry was helpful, however, to confirm the diagnosis of FCD or no lesion. We observed a genotype-phenotype association for brain somatic mutations in SLC35A2 in two cases with mild malformation of cortical development with oligodendroglial hyperplasia in epilepsy. Our results suggest that the current FCD classification should recognize a panel of immunohistochemical stainings for a better histopathological workup and definition of FCD subtypes. We also propose adding the level of genetic findings to obtain a comprehensive, reliable, and integrative genotype-phenotype diagnosis in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16899DOI Listing
June 2021

Underlying pathology identified after 20 years of disease course in two cases of slowly progressive frontotemporal dementia syndromes.

Neurocase 2021 04 27;27(2):212-222. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Departments of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

We report two cases from the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) spectrum with remarkably slow progression. The first case demonstrated insidious-onset behavioral symptoms and personality changes resembling behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia, followed a benign course over 26 years, his brain autopsy revealed the diffuse form of argyrophilic grain disease. The second case presented with slowly progressive cognitive and motor deficits, reminiscent of the corticobasal syndrome, deteriorated slowly over 22 years, his brain autopsy revealed FTLD-TDP with C9ORF72 pathology. These two cases confirm the notion of slowly progressive frontotemporal lobar degeneration caused by an underlying FTLD pathology, rather than a phenocopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13554794.2021.1918723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8189252PMC
April 2021

The transcriptional landscape of Shh medulloblastoma.

Nat Commun 2021 03 19;12(1):1749. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma encompasses a clinically and molecularly diverse group of cancers of the developing central nervous system. Here, we use unbiased sequencing of the transcriptome across a large cohort of 250 tumors to reveal differences among molecular subtypes of the disease, and demonstrate the previously unappreciated importance of non-coding RNA transcripts. We identify alterations within the cAMP dependent pathway (GNAS, PRKAR1A) which converge on GLI2 activity and show that 18% of tumors have a genetic event that directly targets the abundance and/or stability of MYCN. Furthermore, we discover an extensive network of fusions in focally amplified regions encompassing GLI2, and several loss-of-function fusions in tumor suppressor genes PTCH1, SUFU and NCOR1. Molecular convergence on a subset of genes by nucleotide variants, copy number aberrations, and gene fusions highlight the key roles of specific pathways in the pathogenesis of Sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma and open up opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21883-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7979819PMC
March 2021

The Third Eye Sees Double: Cohort Study of Clinical Presentation, Histology, Surgical Approaches, and Ophthalmic Outcomes in Pineal Region Germ Cell Tumors.

World Neurosurg 2021 06 17;150:e482-e490. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs) predominantly occur in the adolescent and young adult population and are most frequently located at the pineal gland. Tumor masses in the pineal region may cause ophthalmic symptoms due to compression to the midbrain, frequently presenting with Parinaud syndrome and hydrocephalus due to aqueductal compression.

Methods: We conducted a single-institution cohort study of primary, pineal region GCTs to characterize the clinical presentation, as well as associated ophthalmic and hydrocephalus outcomes.

Results: Fifty-six primary pineal GCTs were identified. Among the 40 isolated pineal region GCTs, 15 were germinomas while 25 were nongerminomatous GCTs. Among 43 cases of hydrocephalus, endoscopic third ventriculostomy was the primary treatment in 27 cases, which was successful in 23 but failed and required additional treatment for the rest. Pineal tumor mass was significantly larger in cases with hydrocephalus compared with those without, and the 20-mm diameter of the tumor was the crucial point for obstructive hydrocephalus. Ophthalmic symptoms were commonly observed at presentation, which included diplopia (74.3%), upward-gaze palsy (69.7%), and Argyll Robertson pupil (40%). These symptoms tended to remain, and the existence of these symptoms at presentation predicted the remaining symptoms in the follow-up.

Conclusions: Intracranial GCTs presenting with ophthalmic abnormalities appear to be at increased risk of residual posttreatment symptoms, while second-look surgery presents a significant risk factor for the development of new deficits. Hydrocephalus often accompanies pineal region GCTs, and in most cases both cerebrospinal fluid diversion and tissue diagnosis can be successfully achieved via endoscopic third ventriculostomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.03.030DOI Listing
June 2021

TERT promoter mutation: is it enough to call a WHO grade II astrocytoma IDH wild-type glioblastoma?

Neuro Oncol 2021 06;23(6):865-866

Department of Radiological, Oncological and Anatomic Pathology Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noab052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168806PMC
June 2021

A Comprehensive Study of Spindle Cell Oncocytoma of the Pituitary Gland: Series of 6 Cases and Meta-Analysis of 85 Cases.

World Neurosurg 2021 05 18;149:e197-e216. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Objective: To discuss optimal treatment strategy for spindle cell oncocytoma (SCO) of the pituitary gland.

Methods: Institutional cases were retrospectively reviewed. A systematic literature search and subsequent quantitative synthesis were performed for further analysis. The detailed features were summarized and the tumor control rate (TCR) was calculated.

Results: Eighty-five patients (6 institutional and 79 literature) were included. The annual incidence was approximately 0.01-0.03/100,000. The mean age was 56 years. Vision loss was present in 60%. Seventy-three percent showed hormonal abnormalities. On magnetic resonance imaging, tumor was avidly enhancing, and the normal gland was commonly displaced anterosuperiorly. Evidence of hypervascularity was seen in 77%. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in only 24% because of its hypervascular, fibrous, and adhesive nature. The mean postoperative follow-up was 3.3 years for institutional cases and 2.3 years for the integrated cohort. The TCR was significantly better after GTR (5-year TCR, 75%; P = 0.012) and marginally better after non-GTR + upfront radiotherapy (5-year TCR, 76%; P = 0.103) than after non-GTR alone (5-year TCR, 24%). The TCRs for those with low Ki-67 index (≤5%) were marginally better than those with higher Ki-67 index (5-year rate, 57% vs. 23%; P = 0.110).

Conclusions: Frequent endocrine-related symptoms, hypervascular signs, and anterosuperior displacement of the gland support preoperative diagnosis of SCO. GTR seems to have better long-term tumor control, whereas the fibrous, hypervascular, and adhesive nature of SCO makes it difficult to achieve GTR. In patients with non-GTR, radiotherapy may help decrease tumor progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.02.051DOI Listing
May 2021

Gene Expression in Solitary Fibrous Tumors (SFTs) Correlates with Anatomic Localization and NAB2-STAT6 Gene Fusion Variants.

Am J Pathol 2021 04 23;191(4):602-617. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address:

Solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) harbor recurrent NAB2-STAT6 gene fusions, promoting constitutional up-regulation of oncogenic early growth response 1 (EGR1)-dependent gene expression. SFTs with the most common canonical NAB2 exon 4-STAT6 exon 2 fusion variant are often located in the thorax (pleuropulmonary) and are less cellular with abundant collagen. In contrast, SFTs with NAB2 exon 6-STAT6 exon 16/17 fusion variants typically display a cellular round to ovoid cell morphology and are often located in the deep soft tissue of the retroperitoneum and intra-abdominal pelvic region or in the meninges. Here, we employed next-generation sequencing-based gene expression profiling to identify significant differences in gene expression associated with anatomic localization and NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion variants. SFTs with the NAB2 exon 4-STAT6 exon 2 fusion variant showed a transcriptional signature enriched for genes involved in DNA binding, gene transcription, and nuclear localization, whereas SFTs with the NAB2 exon 6-STAT6 exon 16/17 fusion variants were enriched for genes involved in tyrosine kinase signaling, cell proliferation, and cytoplasmic localization. Specific transcription factor binding motifs were enriched among differentially expressed genes in SFTs with different fusion variants, implicating co-transcription factors in the modification of chimeric NGFI-A binding protein 2 (NAB2)-STAT6-dependent deregulation of EGR1-dependent gene expression. In summary, this study establishes a potential molecular biologic basis for clinicopathologic differences in SFTs with distinct NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.12.015DOI Listing
April 2021

Intracranial angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma with rhabdoid features: a mimic of rhabdoid meningioma.

Brain Tumor Pathol 2021 Apr 12;38(2):138-144. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, 200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH) is an uncommon soft-tissue neoplasm that arises mostly in the extremities of young people and generally carries a good prognosis. Intracranial location is unusual and frequently associated with myxoid change. EWSR1 gene fusions with members of the CREB family (CREB1, ATF1, and CREM) are well-established events in AFH. These fusions have also been described in other neoplasms including intracranial myxoid mesenchymal tumor, and it is still uncertain whether the latter is a distinct entity or if it represents a myxoid variant of AFH. Here, we describe a rare falcine AFH presenting in a 50-year-old woman. The most striking feature of this tumor was its diffuse rhabdoid morphology with focal high mitotic activity, raising the consideration of rhabdoid meningioma (WHO grade III). The tumor cells were moderately positive for EMA and negative for progesterone receptor and SSTR2 prompting additional studies. Desmin was strongly positive and CD99 showed membranous immunoreactivity. BAP1, INI-1, and BRG1 expressions were retained. Next-generation sequencing analysis demonstrated an EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusion, supporting the diagnosis of an unusual rhabdoid variant of AFH. After gross total resection of this tumor, the patient remains free of disease 5 months after the surgery without additional treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10014-020-00389-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Trigeminal Amyloidoma: A Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature.

J Neurol Surg B Skull Base 2020 Dec 30;81(6):620-626. Epub 2019 Jul 30.

Division of Anatomic Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Cerebral amyloidomas, characterized by localized amyloid deposits in the nervous system in the absence of systemic disease, are rare. These typically consist of immunoglobulin light chain (AL)-type, predominantly lambda. Trigeminal nerve involvement is exceptionally rare with only 21 previously reported cases, three with bilateral disease. We report two additional cases of amyloid localized to Meckel's cave with secondary involvement of the trigeminal nerves bilaterally, with protein characterization by mass spectrometry. The patients, both females, 39 and 49-years-old, respectively, presented with the insidious onset of progressive trigeminal neuropathy, including pain and numbness with sensory loss, refractory to medical therapy. One patient experienced bilateral symptoms. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated abnormal thickening and contrast enhancement along Meckel's cave bilaterally in both cases. The clinical differential diagnosis included benign neoplasms and inflammatory disorders. At the time of biopsy, the trigeminal nerve was noted to be enlarged and multinodular in one case and associated with abnormal soft tan tissue in the other case. Microscopically, the nerve biopsies showed extensive Congo red-positive amyloid deposits. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry demonstrated that the amyloid was of (AL)-type in both cases (AL [kappa] in one case and AL [lambda] in the other). After extensive evaluation, there was no evidence of systemic involvement. Both patients received localized radiotherapy for their refractory symptoms. One patient has stable symptomatology and imaging. No follow-up is available for the other patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1693111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755510PMC
December 2020

Expanding the spectrum of EWSR1-PATZ1 rearranged CNS tumors: An infantile case with leptomeningeal dissemination.

Brain Pathol 2021 05 15;31(3):e12934. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Pathology Unit, Department of Laboratories, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

We report on a case of EWSR1-PATZ1 rearranged brain tumor occurring in a 17 month-old child, originally interpreted as an infantile glioblastoma. Our case shows important analogies with the 2 previously reported cases, including the intraventricular location, the histologic appearance (pushing borders, oligodendrocyte-like morphology, rich vascular network) and the glioneural immunophenotype, supporting the role of these features as relevant clues to the diagnosis. On the other hand, our case displays unique characteristics, i.e. the onset in an infant, the presence of a focal high-grade component and the leptomeningeal dissemination, pointing to the importance of considering this entity in the differential diagnosis of an infantile glial/glioneural tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12934DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8412111PMC
May 2021

Frequency of false-positive FISH 1p/19q codeletion in adult diffuse astrocytic gliomas.

Neurooncol Adv 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):vdaa109. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Background: Oligodendroglioma is genetically defined by concomitant IDH () mutation and whole-arm 1p/19q codeletion. Codeletion of 1p/19q traditionally evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) cannot distinguish partial from whole-arm 1p/19q codeletion. Partial 1p/19q codeletion called positive by FISH is diagnostically a "false-positive" result. Chromosomal microarray (CMA) discriminates partial from whole-arm 1p/19q codeletion. Herein, we aimed to estimate the frequency of partial 1p/19q codeletion that would lead to a false-positive FISH result.

Methods: FISH 1p/19q codeletion test probe coordinates were mapped onto Oncoscan CMA data to determine the rate of partial 1p/19q codeletion predicted to be positive by FISH. Diffuse astrocytic gliomas with available CMA data (2015-2018) were evaluated and classified based on IDH1-R132H/ATRX/p53 immunohistochemistry, IDH/ promoter targeted sequencing, and/or CMA according to classification updates. Predicted false-positive cases were verified by FISH whenever possible.

Results: The overall estimated false-positive FISH 1p/19q codeletion rate was 3.6% (8/223). Predicted false positives were verified by FISH in 6 (of 8) cases. False-positive rates did not differ significantly ( = .49) between IDH-mutant (4.6%; 4/86) and IDH-wildtype (2.9%; 4/137) tumors. IDH-wildtype false positives were all WHO grade IV, whereas IDH-mutant false positives spanned WHO grades II-IV. Testing for 1p/19q codeletion would not have been indicated for most false positives based on current classification recommendations.

Conclusion: Selective 1p/19q codeletion testing and cautious interpretation for conflicting FISH and histopathological findings are recommended to avoid potential misdiagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdaa109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654379PMC
August 2020

Clinical, biological, radiological, and pathological comparison of sparsely and densely granulated somatotroph adenomas: a single center experience from a cohort of 131 patients with acromegaly.

Pituitary 2021 Apr 19;24(2):192-206. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Division of Anatomic Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: Growth hormone-producing pituitary adenomas are divided into two clinically relevant histologic subtypes, densely (DG-A) and sparsely (SG-A) granulated. Histologic subtype was evaluated in a large cohort of patients with acromegaly, separating DG-A and SG-A, and correlated with clinicopathological characteristics.

Methods: Patients with acromegaly undergoing surgery as initial therapy between 1995 and 2015 were identified. Histologic subtype was determined by keratin expression pattern with CAM5.2 and correlated with clinical and imaging parameters, somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SST2) expression, post-surgical remission rate, and application of a prognostic scoring system incorporating proliferation and invasiveness.

Results: One hundred thirty-one patients were included. Tumors were classified as DG-A (75, 57.3%), SG-A (29, 22.1%), intermediate (I-A) (9, 6.9%), and unclassified (18, 13.7%) when CAM5.2 was negative. DG-A and I-A were combined for analysis (DG/I-A) and compared to SG-A. Age, gender, proliferation, and post-surgical remission did not differ. SG-A were larger [2 vs. 1.5 cm (median), p = 0.03], more frequently invasive [65.5% vs. 32.9%, p = 0.004], associated with higher MRI T2-weighted signal ratio [1.01 vs. 0.82 (median), p = 0.01], showed lower SST2 expression (p < 0.0001), and scored higher in the prognostic classification (p = 0.004). Surgical remission occurred in 41.7% DG/I-A and 41.4% SG-A (p = 1.0). On multivariate analysis, absence of invasion (p = 0.009) and lower pre-operative IGF-1 index (p = 0.0002) were associated with post-surgical remission.

Conclusion: CAM5.2 allowed distinction between DG/I-A and SG-A in most but not all cases. Histologic subtype did not predict surgical outcome. Absence of invasion and lower pre-operative IGF-1 index were the only significant predictors of post-surgical remission in this cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11102-020-01096-2DOI Listing
April 2021

Brain ischemic injury in COVID-19-infected patients: a series of 10 post-mortem cases.

Brain Pathol 2021 01 2;31(1):205-210. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Via Albertoni 15, Bologna, 40138, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12901DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536900PMC
January 2021

Expanded Clinical Phenotype, Oncological Associations, and Immunopathologic Insights of Paraneoplastic Kelch-like Protein-11 Encephalitis.

JAMA Neurol 2020 11;77(11):1420-1429

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco.

Importance: Recognizing the presenting and immunopathological features of Kelch-like protein-11 immunoglobulin G seropositive (KLHL11 IgG+) patients may aid in early diagnosis and management.

Objective: To describe expanding neurologic phenotype, cancer associations, outcomes, and immunopathologic features of KLHL11 encephalitis.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective tertiary care center study, conducted from October 15, 1998, to November 1, 2019, prospectively identified 31 KLHL11 IgG+ cases in the neuroimmunology laboratory. Eight were identified by retrospective testing of patients with rhomboencephalitis (confirmed by tissue-based-immunofluorescence and transfected-cell-based assays).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Outcome variables included modified Rankin score and gait aid use.

Results: All 39 KLHL11 IgG+ patients were men (median age, 46 years; range, 28-73 years). Initial clinical presentations were ataxia (n = 32; 82%), diplopia (n = 22; 56%), vertigo (n = 21; 54%), hearing loss (n = 15; 39%), tinnitus (n = 14; 36%), dysarthria (n = 11; 28%), and seizures (n = 9; 23%). Atypical neurologic presentations included neuropsychiatric dysfunction, myeloneuropathy, and cervical amyotrophy. Hearing loss or tinnitus preceded other neurologic deficits by 1 to 8 months in 10 patients (26%). Among patients screened for malignancy (n = 36), testicular germ-cell tumors (n = 23; 64%) or testicular microlithiasis and fibrosis concerning for regressed germ cell tumor (n = 7; 19%) were found in 83% of the patients (n = 30). In 2 patients, lymph node biopsy diagnosed metastatic lung adenocarcinoma in one and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the other. Initial brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed T2 hyperintensities in the temporal lobe (n = 12), cerebellum (n = 9), brainstem (n = 3), or diencephalon (n = 3). Among KLHL11 IgG+ patients who underwent HLA class I and class II genotyping (n = 10), most were found to have HLA-DQB1*02:01 (n = 7; 70%) and HLA-DRB1*03:01 (n = 6; 60%) associations. A biopsied gadolinium-enhancing temporal lobe lesion demonstrated T cell-predominant inflammation and nonnecrotizing granulomas. Cerebellar biopsy (patient with chronic ataxia) and 2 autopsied brains demonstrated Purkinje neuronal loss and Bergmann gliosis, supporting early active inflammation and later extensive neuronal loss. Compared with nonautoimmune control peripheral blood mononuclear cells, cluster of differentiation (CD) 8+ and CD4+ T cells were significantly activated when patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured with KLHL11 protein. Most patients (58%) benefitted from immunotherapy and/or cancer treatment (neurological disability stabilized [n = 10] or improved [n = 9]). Kaplan-Meier curve demonstrated significantly higher probability of wheelchair dependence among patients without detectable testicular cancer. Long-term outcomes in KLHL11-IgG+ patients were similar to Ma2 encephalitis.

Conclusions And Relevance: Kelch-like protein-11 IgG is a biomarker of testicular germ-cell tumor and paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome, often refractory to treatment. Described expanded neurologic phenotype and paraclinical findings may aid in its early diagnosis and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.2231DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7653501PMC
November 2020

Pattern of Relapse and Treatment Response in WNT-Activated Medulloblastoma.

Cell Rep Med 2020 Jun;1(3)

Departments of Pediatrics, Anatomy, and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Over the past decade, wingless-activated (WNT) medulloblastoma has been identified as a candidate for therapy de-escalation based on excellent survival; however, a paucity of relapses has precluded additional analyses of markers of relapse. To address this gap in knowledge, an international cohort of 93 molecularly confirmed WNT MB was assembled, where 5-year progression-free survival is 0.84 (95%, 0.763-0.925) with 15 relapsed individuals identified. Maintenance chemotherapy is identified as a strong predictor of relapse, with individuals receiving high doses of cyclophosphamide or ifosphamide having only one very late molecularly confirmed relapse (p = 0.032). The anatomical location of recurrence is metastatic in 12 of 15 relapses, with 8 of 12 metastatic relapses in the lateral ventricles. Maintenance chemotherapy, specifically cumulative cyclophosphamide doses, is a significant predictor of relapse across WNT MB. Future efforts to de-escalate therapy need to carefully consider not only the radiation dose but also the chemotherapy regimen and the propensity for metastatic relapses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2020.100038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7394286PMC
June 2020

TTF-1 positive posterior pituitary tumor: Limitations of current treatment and potential new hope in BRAF V600E mutation variants.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2020 09 30;196:106059. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Neuro-Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Department of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106059DOI Listing
September 2020

CODEL: phase III study of RT, RT + TMZ, or TMZ for newly diagnosed 1p/19q codeleted oligodendroglioma. Analysis from the initial study design.

Neuro Oncol 2021 03;23(3):457-467

Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Background: We report the analysis involving patients treated on the initial CODEL design.

Methods: Adults (>18) with newly diagnosed 1p/19q World Health Organization (WHO) grade III oligodendroglioma were randomized to radiotherapy (RT; 5940 centigray ) alone (arm A); RT with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) (arm B); or TMZ alone (arm C). Primary endpoint was overall survival (OS), arm A versus B. Secondary comparisons were performed for OS and progression-free survival (PFS), comparing pooled RT arms versus TMZ-alone arm.

Results: Thirty-six patients were randomized equally. At median follow-up of 7.5 years, 83.3% (10/12) TMZ-alone patients progressed, versus 37.5% (9/24) on the RT arms. PFS was significantly shorter in TMZ-alone patients compared with RT patients (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.12; 95% CI: 1.26, 7.69; P = 0.014). Death from disease progression occurred in 3/12 (25%) of TMZ-alone patients and 4/24 (16.7%) on the RT arms. OS did not statistically differ between arms (comparison underpowered). After adjustment for isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) status (mutated/wildtype) in a Cox regression model utilizing IDH and RT treatment status as covariables (arm C vs pooled arms A + B), PFS remained shorter for patients not receiving RT (HR = 3.33; 95% CI: 1.31, 8.45; P = 0.011), but not OS ((HR = 2.78; 95% CI: 0.58, 13.22, P = 0.20). Grade 3+ adverse events occurred in 25%, 42%, and 33% of patients (arms A, B, and C). There were no differences between arms in neurocognitive decline comparing baseline to 3 months.

Conclusions: TMZ-alone patients experienced significantly shorter PFS than patients treated on the RT arms. The ongoing CODEL trial has been redesigned to compare RT + PCV versus RT + TMZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7992874PMC
March 2021
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