Publications by authors named "Jens Schittenhelm"

151 Publications

Molecular characterisation of sporadic endolymphatic sac tumours and comparison to von Hippel-Lindau disease-related tumours.

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Neuropathology, Charitéplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Aims: Although inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL) on chromosome 3p25 is considered to be the major cause of hereditary endolymphatic sac tumours (ELSTs), the genetic background of sporadic ELST is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of VHL mutations in sporadic ELSTs and compare their characteristics to VHL-disease-related tumours.

Methods: Genetic and epigenetic alterations were compared between 11 sporadic and 11 VHL-disease-related ELSTs by targeted sequencing and DNA methylation analysis.

Results: VHL mutations and small deletions detected by targeted deep sequencing were identified in 9/11 sporadic ELSTs (82%). No other cancer-related genetic pathway was altered except for TERT promoter mutations in two sporadic and one VHL-disease-related ELSTs (15%). Loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 3 was found in 6/10 (60%) VHL-disease-related and 10/11 (91%) sporadic ELSTs resulting in biallelic VHL inactivation in 8/10 (73%) sporadic ELSTs. DNA methylation profiling did not reveal differences between sporadic and VHL-disease-related ELSTs, but reliably distinguished ELST from morphological mimics of the cerebellopontine angle. VHL patients were significantly younger at disease onset compared to sporadic ELSTs (29 vs. 52 years, p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test). VHL-disease status was not associated with an increased risk of recurrence, but the presence of clear cells was found to be associated with shorter progression-free survival (p = 0.0002, log-rank test).

Conclusion: Biallelic inactivation of VHL is the main mechanism underlying ELSTs, but unknown mechanisms beyond VHL may rarely be involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic ELSTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nan.12741DOI Listing
June 2021

Glioma-Specific Diffusion Signature in Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging.

J Clin Med 2021 May 26;10(11). Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard Karls University, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Purpose: This study aimed to assess the relationship between mean kurtosis (MK) and mean diffusivity (MD) values from whole-brain diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) parametric maps in preoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images from 2016 World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of the Central Nervous System integrated glioma groups.

Methods: Seventy-seven patients with histopathologically confirmed treatment-naïve glioma were retrospectively assessed between 1 August 2013 and 30 October 2017. The area on scatter plots with a specific combination of MK and MD values, not occurring in the healthy brain, was labeled, and the corresponding voxels were visualized on the fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images. Reversely, the labeled voxels were compared to those of the manually segmented tumor volume, and the Dice similarity coefficient was used to investigate their spatial overlap.

Results: A specific combination of MK and MD values in whole-brain DKI maps, visualized on a two-dimensional scatter plot, exclusively occurs in glioma tissue including the perifocal infiltrative zone and is absent in tissue of the normal brain or from other intracranial compartments.

Conclusions: A unique diffusion signature with a specific combination of MK and MD values from whole-brain DKI can identify diffuse glioma without any previous segmentation. This feature might influence artificial intelligence algorithms for automatic tumor segmentation and provide new aspects of tumor heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112325DOI Listing
May 2021

Targeting CSF1R Alone or in Combination with PD1 in Experimental Glioma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 15;13(10). Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Neurology & Interdisciplinary Neuro-Oncology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Center for Neuro-Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive primary tumor of the central nervous system. Targeting the immunosuppressive glioblastoma-associated microenvironment is an interesting therapeutic approach. Tumor-associated macrophages represent an abundant population of tumor-infiltrating host cells with tumor-promoting features. The colony stimulating factor-1/ colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1/CSF1R) axis plays an important role for macrophage differentiation and survival. We thus aimed at investigating the antiglioma activity of CSF1R inhibition alone or in combination with blockade of programmed death (PD) 1. We investigated combination treatments of anti-CSF1R alone or in combination with anti-PD1 antibodies in an orthotopic syngeneic glioma mouse model, evaluated post-treatment effects and assessed treatment-induced cytotoxicity in a coculture model of patient-derived microtumors (PDM) and autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) ex vivo. Anti-CSF1R monotherapy increased the latency until the onset of neurological symptoms. Combinations of anti-CSF1R and anti-PD1 antibodies led to longterm survivors in vivo. Furthermore, we observed treatment-induced cytotoxicity of combined anti-CSF1R and anti-PD1 treatment in the PDM/TILs cocultures ex vivo. Our results identify CSF1R as a promising therapeutic target for glioblastoma, potentially in combination with PD1 inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156558PMC
May 2021

Differences in the expression of SSTR1-5 in meningiomas and its therapeutic potential.

Neurosurg Rev 2021 Apr 26. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Center for CNS Tumors, Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen-Stuttgart, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.

Beyond microsurgical resection and radiation therapy, there are currently no established treatment alternatives for meningioma patients. In selected cases, peptide radio receptor therapy (PRRT) can be implemented. For this purpose, a radionuclide is bound to a substance targeting specific receptors in meningiomas. One of them is somatostatin receptor 2, which can be found in most meningiomas. However, other somatostatin receptors (SSTR) exist, but their expressions have only been described in small case series. In this study, we analyzed the expression of SSTR1, 2A, 3, 4, and 5 in a large cohort of meningiomas in order to enable further refinement of this innovative treatment option. Overall, 726 tumor samples were processed into tissue microarrays and stained for SSTR1, 2A, 3, 4, and 5 immunohistochemically. Microscopic evaluation was done with an established semiquantitative score regarding percentual quantification and staining intensity, and results were correlated with clinical data. There was a significant lower rate of SSTR1 expression in meningiomas of male patients. Older age was associated with higher expression of SSTR1, 2A, and 5 and lower scores for SSTR3 and 4. Tumors treated with radiotherapy before resection showed lower rates of SSTR1 and 5 expression, while recurrent meningiomas had lower SSTR1 scores. Tumor tissue from patients suffering from neurofibromatosis type 2 had lower expression scores for SSTR1, 2, and 5. For SSTR3 and 4, NF2 patients showed higher scores than sporadic tumors. Spinal meningiomas had higher scores for SSTR1, 4, and 5 compared tumor location of the skull base and convexity/falx. Overall, higher WHO grade was associated with lower SSTR scores. While all SSTRs were expressed, there are marked differences of SSTR expression between meningioma subgroups. This has the potential to drive the development of more selective PRRT substances with higher treatment efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-021-01552-yDOI Listing
April 2021

FGFR3 overexpression is a useful detection tool for FGFR3 fusions and sequence variations in glioma.

Neurooncol Pract 2021 Apr 20;8(2):209-221. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Center for Neuro-Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Tuebingen-Stuttgart, University Hospital of Tuebingen, Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

Background: Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitors are currently used in clinical development. A subset of glioblastomas carries gene fusion of FGFR3 and transforming acidic coiled-coil protein 3. The prevalence of other FGFR3 alterations in glioma is currently unclear.

Methods: We performed RT-PCR in 101 glioblastoma samples to detect FGFR3-TACC3 fusions ("RT-PCR cohort") and correlated results with FGFR3 immunohistochemistry (IHC). Further, we applied FGFR3 IHC in 552 tissue microarray glioma samples ("TMA cohort") and validated these results in two external cohorts with 319 patients. Gene panel sequencing was carried out in 88 samples ("NGS cohort") to identify other possible FGFR3 alterations. Molecular modeling was performed on newly detected mutations.

Results: In the "RT-PCR cohort," we identified FGFR3-TACC3 fusions in 2/101 glioblastomas. Positive IHC staining was observed in 73/1024 tumor samples of which 10 were strongly positive. In the "NGS cohort," we identified FGFR3 fusions in 9/88 cases, FGFR3 amplification in 2/88 cases, and FGFR3 gene mutations in 7/88 cases in targeted sequencing. All FGFR3 fusions and amplifications and a novel FGFR3 K649R missense mutation were associated with FGFR3 overexpression (sensitivity and specificity of 93% and 95%, respectively, at cutoff IHC score > 7). Modeling of these data indicated that Tyr647, a residue phosphorylated as a part of FGFR3 activation, is affected by the K649R mutation.

Conclusions: FGFR3 IHC is a useful screening tool for the detection of FGFR3 alterations and could be included in the workflow for isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) wild-type glioma diagnostics. Samples with positive FGFR3 staining could then be selected for NGS-based diagnostic tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nop/npaa075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8049444PMC
April 2021

Glioblastomas with primitive neuronal component harbor a distinct methylation and copy-number profile with inactivation of TP53, PTEN, and RB1.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Division of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, Basel University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.

Glioblastoma IDH-wildtype presents with a wide histological spectrum. Some features are so distinctive that they are considered as separate histological variants or patterns for the purpose of classification. However, these usually lack defined (epi-)genetic alterations or profiles correlating with this histology. Here, we describe a molecular subtype with overlap to the unique histological pattern of glioblastoma with primitive neuronal component. Our cohort consists of 63 IDH-wildtype glioblastomas that harbor a characteristic DNA methylation profile. Median age at diagnosis was 59.5 years. Copy-number variations and genetic sequencing revealed frequent alterations in TP53, RB1 and PTEN, with fewer gains of chromosome 7 and homozygous CDKN2A/B deletions than usually described for IDH-wildtype glioblastoma. Gains of chromosome 1 were detected in more than half of the cases. A poorly differentiated phenotype with frequent absence of GFAP expression, high proliferation index and strong staining for p53 and TTF1 often caused misleading histological classification as carcinoma metastasis or primitive neuroectodermal tumor. Clinically, many patients presented with leptomeningeal dissemination and spinal metastasis. Outcome was poor with a median overall survival of only 12 months. Overall, we describe a new molecular subtype of IDH-wildtype glioblastoma with a distinct histological appearance and genetic signature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02302-6DOI Listing
April 2021

γH2AX foci assay in glioblastoma: Surgical specimen versus corresponding stem cell culture.

Radiother Oncol 2021 Mar 26;159:119-125. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Radiation Oncology, Medical Faculty and University Hospital Tübingen, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Tübingen, Germany; German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Aim: To assess radiation response using γH2AX assay in surgical specimens from glioblastoma (GB) patients and their corresponding primary gliosphere culture. To test the hypothesis that gliospheres (stem cell enriched) are more resistant than specimens (bulky cell dominated) but that the interpatient heterogeneity is similar.

Material And Methods: Ten pairs of specimens and corresponding gliospheres derived from patients with IDH-wildtype GB were studied. Specimens and gliospheres were irradiated with graded doses and after 24 h the number of residual γH2AX foci was counted.

Results: Gliospheres showed a higher Nestin expression than specimens and exhibited two different phenotypes: free floating (n = 7) and attached (n = 3). Slope analysis revealed an interpatient heterogeneity with values between 0.15 and 1.30 residual γH2AX foci/Gy. Free-floating spheres were more resistant than their parental specimens (median slope 0.13 foci/Gy versus 0.53) as well as than the attached spheres (2.14). The slopes of free floating spheres did not correlate with their corresponding specimens while a trend for a positive correlation was found for the attached spheres and the respective specimens. Association with MGMT did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: Consistent with the clinical phenotype and our previous experiments, GB specimens show low radiation sensitivity. Stem-cell enriched free-floating gliospheres were more resistant than specimens supporting the concept of radioresistance in stem cell-like cells. The lack of correlation between specimens and their respective gliosphere cultures needs validation and may have a profound impact on future translational studies using γH2AX as a potential biomarker for personalized radiation therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.03.023DOI Listing
March 2021

TERT promoter mutation and chromosome 6 loss define a high-risk subtype of ependymoma evolving from posterior fossa subependymoma.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Jun 23;141(6):959-970. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Berlin, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Subependymomas are benign tumors characteristically encountered in the posterior fossa of adults that show distinct epigenetic profiles assigned to the molecular group "subependymoma, posterior fossa" (PFSE) of the recently established DNA methylation-based classification of central nervous system tumors. In contrast, most posterior fossa ependymomas exhibit a more aggressive biological behavior and are allocated to the molecular subgroups PFA or PFB. A subset of ependymomas shows epigenetic similarities with subependymomas, but the precise biology of these tumors and their potential relationships remain unknown. We therefore set out to characterize epigenetic traits, mutational profiles, and clinical outcomes of 50 posterior fossa ependymal tumors of the PFSE group. On histo-morphology, these tumors comprised 12 ependymomas, 14 subependymomas and 24 tumors with mixed ependymoma-subependymoma morphology. Mixed ependymoma-subependymoma tumors varied in their extent of ependymoma differentiation (2-95%) but consistently exhibited global epigenetic profiles of the PFSE group. Selective methylome analysis of microdissected tumor components revealed CpG signatures in mixed tumors that coalesce with their pure counterparts. Loss of chr6 (20/50 cases), as well as TERT mutations (21/50 cases), were frequent events enriched in tumors with pure ependymoma morphology (p < 0.001) and confined to areas with ependymoma differentiation in mixed tumors. Clinically, pure ependymoma phenotype, chr6 loss, and TERT mutations were associated with shorter progression-free survival (each p < 0.001). In conclusion, our results suggest that subependymomas may acquire genetic and epigenetic changes throughout tumor evolution giving rise to subclones with ependymoma morphology (resulting in mixed tumors) that eventually overpopulate the subependymoma component (pure PFSE ependymomas).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02300-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113189PMC
June 2021

COX2 expression is associated with preoperative tumor volume but not with volumetric tumor growth in vestibular schwannoma.

Neurol Res Pract 2021 Mar 1;3(1):11. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Center for Neuro-Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen - Stuttgart, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Objective: Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are benign slow growing tumors arising from the vestibular nerve. The role of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) in tumor development of growth has been addressed in a few studies with contradictory results and suggestions. We recently analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of COX2 in 1044 VS samples and described an association of higher COX2 expression with proliferation but found no influence by regular intake of acetylsalicylic acid. We now collected volumetric radiographic data of the preoperative tumor volume and growth to further test the role of COX2 in VS growth.

Methods: Preoperative images of 898 primary sporadic vestibular schwannomas were assessed, and sufficient preoperative imaging was used for the volumetric measurement preoperative tumor volume (n = 747) and preoperative relative tumor growth (n = 171). Clinical parameters and results of the immunohistochemical expression of COX2 and MIB1 in resected tumor tissue samples were obtained from our prior study. ANOVA, CART-analysis and multivariate nominal logistic regression were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Larger preoperative tumor volumes were observed with tumors of younger patients (p = 0.0288) and with higher COX2 expression scores (p < 0.0001). Higher MIB1 expression was associated with smaller tumors (p = 0.0149) but with increased radiographic tumor growth (p = 0.0003). Patients of older age had tumors with slower growth rates (p = 0.0311). In the multivariate analysis only MIB1 expression was an independent significant factor regarding tumor growth (p = 0.0002).

Conclusions: Higher expression of COX2 in schwannoma is associated with an increased preoperative tumor volume but not with radiographic tumor growth over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42466-021-00111-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7919305PMC
March 2021

Dynamic Susceptibility Perfusion Imaging for Differentiating Progressive Disease from Pseudoprogression in Diffuse Glioma Molecular Subtypes.

J Clin Med 2021 Feb 5;10(4). Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Neuroradiology, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, 72070 Tübingen, Germany.

Rationale And Objectives: Advanced adjuvant therapy of diffuse gliomas can result in equivocal findings in follow-up imaging. We aimed to assess the additional value of dynamic susceptibility perfusion imaging in the differentiation of progressive disease (PD) from pseudoprogression (PsP) in different molecular glioma subtypes.

Materials And Methods: 89 patients with treated diffuse glioma with different molecular subtypes (IDH wild type (Astro-IDH), IDH mutant astrocytomas (Astro-IDH) and oligodendrogliomas), and tumor-suspect lesions on post-treatment follow-up imaging were classified into two outcome groups (PD or PsP) retrospectively by histopathology or clinical follow-up. The relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) was assessed in the tumor-suspect FLAIR and contrast-enhancing (CE) lesions. We analyzed how a multilevel classification using a molecular subtype, the presence of a CE lesion, and two rCBV histogram parameters performed for PD prediction compared with a decision tree model (DTM) using additional rCBV parameters.

Results: The PD rate was 69% in the whole cohort, 86% in Astro-IDH, 52% in Astro-IDH, and 55% in oligodendrogliomas. In the presence of a CE lesion, the PD rate was higher with 82%, 94%, 59%, and 88%, respectively; if there was no CE lesion, however, the PD rate was only 44%, 60%, 40%, and 33%, respectively. The additional use of the rCBV parameters in the DTM yielded a prediction accuracy for PD of 99%, 100%, 93%, and 95%, respectively.

Conclusion: Utilizing combined information about the molecular tumor type, the presence or absence of CE lesions and rCBV parameters increases PD prediction accuracy in diffuse glioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10040598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915936PMC
February 2021

Macrophage and Lymphocyte Infiltration Is Associated with Volumetric Tumor Size but Not with Volumetric Growth in the Tübingen Schwannoma Cohort.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 26;13(3). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Most patients with vestibular schwannomas can be cured with microsurgical resection, or tumor growth can be stabilized by radiotherapy in certain cases. Recurrence is rare but usually difficult to treat. Treatment alternatives to local therapies are not established. There is growing evidence of the role of inflammatory processes in schwannomas, which may be exploitable by targeted innovative therapies. To further define the impact of inflammation with tumor growth in vestibular schwannoma, we performed immunohistochemical analyses of CD3, CD8, CD68 and CD163 to assess lymphocyte and macrophage infiltration in 923 tumor tissue samples of surgically resected vestibular schwannomas. An inflammatory score was compared with tumor size and volumetric growth. We observed a significantly larger preoperative tumor size with increased expression rates of CD3, CD8, CD68 and CD163 ( < 0.0001, < 0.0001, = 0.0015 and < 0.0001, respectively), but no differences in percentual volumetric tumor growth. When all four markers were combined as an inflammatory score, tumors with high inflammatory infiltration showed slower percentual growth in a multivariate analysis, including MIB1 expression ( = 0.0249). We conclude that inflammatory cell infiltration increases with larger tumor size but is associated with slower percentual volumetric tumor growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13030466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865601PMC
January 2021

Sarcoma classification by DNA methylation profiling.

Nat Commun 2021 01 21;12(1):498. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of General Pathology, Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Sarcomas are malignant soft tissue and bone tumours affecting adults, adolescents and children. They represent a morphologically heterogeneous class of tumours and some entities lack defining histopathological features. Therefore, the diagnosis of sarcomas is burdened with a high inter-observer variability and misclassification rate. Here, we demonstrate classification of soft tissue and bone tumours using a machine learning classifier algorithm based on array-generated DNA methylation data. This sarcoma classifier is trained using a dataset of 1077 methylation profiles from comprehensively pre-characterized cases comprising 62 tumour methylation classes constituting a broad range of soft tissue and bone sarcoma subtypes across the entire age spectrum. The performance is validated in a cohort of 428 sarcomatous tumours, of which 322 cases were classified by the sarcoma classifier. Our results demonstrate the potential of the DNA methylation-based sarcoma classification for research and future diagnostic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20603-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819999PMC
January 2021

H3K27me3 loss indicates an increased risk of recurrence in the Tübingen meningioma cohort.

Neuro Oncol 2020 Dec 24. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Center for Neuro-Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen-Stuttgart, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, Germany.

Background: A loss of the trimethylation of lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3) in meningioma has been recently suggested as an adjunct to identify subsets of higher risk of recurrence. The aim of the present study was to assess the prognostic value of H3K27 histone trimethylation and its potential clinical utility in the "Tübingen meningioma cohort".

Methods: Patients who underwent meningioma resection between 10/2003 and 1/22015 at the University Hospital Tübingen were included. Immunohistochemical stainings for H3K27me3 and the proliferation marker MIB1 were assessed and correlated with clinical parameters using univariate and multivariate cox regressions as well as Pearson's chi-squared and log-rank test.

Results: Overall, 1268 meningiomas were analyzed with a female to male ratio of 2.6 and a mean age of 58.7 years (range 8.3 - 91.0). With 163 cases lost to follow up, 1103 cases were available for further analysis with a mean follow-up of 40.3 months (range 1.1 - 186.3). Male gender, younger age, intracranial tumor localization, progressive tumor, subtotal resection, higher WHO grade, increased MIB1 rate and loss of H3K27me3 were significant negative prognostic factors in the univariate analysis. H3K27me3 status and all other prognostic factors, except age and tumor location, remained significant in the multivariate model. Furthermore, adjuvant radiotherapy was an independent positive prognostic factor.

Conclusions: Loss of H3K27me3 combined with MIB1 labeling index are independent prognostic factors in meningioma. These data from the Tübingen meningioma cohort support the clinical utility of H3K27me3 immunohistochemical staining in meningioma and its integration into the routine histopathological workup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa303DOI Listing
December 2020

Comparative analysis of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders after solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation reveals differences in the tumor microenvironment.

Virchows Arch 2020 Dec 15. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Institute of Pathology and Neuropathology, University Hospital and Comprehensive Cancer Center Tuebingen, Liebermeisterstraße 8, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany.

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) occur after solid organ transplantation (SOT) or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) and are frequently associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Because of the complex immune setup in PTLD patients, the tumor microenvironment (TME) is of particular interest to understand PTLD pathogenesis and elucidate predictive factors and possible treatment options. We present a comparative study of clinicopathological features of 48 PTLD after HCT (n = 26) or SOT (n = 22), including non-destructive (n = 6), polymorphic (n = 23), and monomorphic (n = 18) PTLD and classic Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 1). EBV was positive in 35 cases (73%). A detailed examination of the TME with image analysis-based quantification in 22 cases revealed an inflammatory TME despite underlying immunosuppression and significant differences in its density and composition depending on type of transplant, PTLD subtypes, and EBV status. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) expressing CD163 (p = 0.0022) and Mannose (p = 0.0016) were enriched in PTLD after HCT. Double stains also showed differences in macrophage polarization, with more frequent M1 polarization after HCT (p = 0.0321). Higher counts for TAMs (CD163 (p = 0.0008) and cMaf (p = 0.0035)) as well as in the T cell compartment (Granzyme B (p = 0.0028), CD8 (p = 0.01), and for PD-L1 (p = 0.0305)) were observed depending on EBV status. In conclusion, despite the presence of immunosuppression, PTLD predominantly contains an inflammatory TME characterized by mostly M1-polarized macrophages and cytotoxic T cells. Status post HCT, EBV positivity, and polymorphic subtype are associated with an actively inflamed TME, indicating a specific response of the immune system. Further studies need to elucidate prognostic significance and potential therapeutic implications of the TME in PTLD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-020-02985-4DOI Listing
December 2020

Clear cell meningiomas are defined by a highly distinct DNA methylation profile and mutations in SMARCE1.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 02 14;141(2):281-290. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Clear cell meningioma represents an uncommon variant of meningioma that typically affects children and young adults. Although an enrichment of loss-of-function mutations in the SMARCE1 gene has been reported for this subtype, comprehensive molecular investigations are lacking. Here we describe a molecularly distinct subset of tumors (n = 31), initially identified through genome-wide DNA methylation screening among a cohort of 3093 meningiomas, of which most were diagnosed histologically as clear cell meningioma. This cohort was further supplemented by an additional 11 histologically diagnosed clear cell meningiomas for analysis (n = 42). Targeted DNA sequencing revealed SMARCE1 mutations in 33/34 analyzed samples, accompanied by a nuclear loss of expression determined via immunohistochemistry and a decreased SMARCE1 transcript expression in the tumor cells. Analysis of time to progression or recurrence of patients within the clear cell meningioma group (n = 14) in comparison to those with meningioma WHO grade 2 (n = 220) revealed a similar outcome and support the assignment of WHO grade 2 to these tumors. Our findings indicate the existence of a highly distinct epigenetic signature of clear cell meningiomas, separate from all other variants of meningiomas, with recurrent mutations in the SMARCE1 gene. This suggests that these tumors may arise from a different precursor cell population than the broad spectrum of the other meningioma subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-020-02247-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847462PMC
February 2021

CNS Invasion in Meningioma-How the Intraoperative Assessment Can Improve the Prognostic Evaluation of Tumor Recurrence.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 3;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Center for CNS Tumors, Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen-Stuttgart, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

The detection of the infiltrative growth of meningiomas into CNS tissue has been integrated into the WHO classification as a stand-alone marker for atypical meningioma. However, its prognostic impact has been questioned. Infiltrative growth can also be detected intraoperatively. The prognostic impact of the intraoperative detection of the central nervous system tissue invasion of meningiomas was analyzed and compared to the histopathological assessment. The clinical data of 1517 cases with follow-up data regarding radiographic recurrence was collected. Histopathology and operative reports were reviewed and invasive growth was seen during resection in 23.7% ( = 345) while histopathology detected it in 4.8% ( = 73). The histopathological and intraoperative assessments were compatible in 63%. The prognostic impact of histopathological and intraoperative assessment was significant in the univariate but not in the multivariate analysis. Both methods of assessment combined reached statistical significance in the multivariate analysis ( = 0.0409). A score including all independent prognostic factors divided the cohort into three prognostic subgroups with a risk of recurrence of 33.8, 64.7 and 88.5%, respectively. The intraoperative detection of the infiltrative growth of primary meningiomas into the central nervous system tissue can complement the histopathological assessment of CNS invasion. The combined assessment is an independent prognostic factor regarding tumor recurrence and allows a risk-adapted tumor stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761660PMC
December 2020

Papillary tumor of the pineal region: a single-center experience.

Neurooncol Pract 2020 Jul 3;7(4):384-390. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Center for Neuro-Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen-Stuttgart, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany.

Papillary tumor of the pineal region (PTPR) is a rare entity. Its clinical presentation is diverse, and establishing an accurate and timely diagnosis may be challenging. Treatment recommendations are based on the evidence level of case series. Recently, several key advances have been made for immunohistochemical characterization, molecular diagnostics, and neurosurgical treatment of PTPR. Here, we describe our single-center experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nop/npaa014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571506PMC
July 2020

The role of Simpson grading in meningiomas after integration of the updated WHO classification and adjuvant radiotherapy.

Neurosurg Rev 2020 Oct 26. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Tuebingen, Eberhard-Karls-University Tuebingen, Hoppe-Seyler Street 3, Tuebingen, Germany.

Since the introduction of the Simpson grading for the extent of resection in meningiomas in 1957, its usefulness in modern neurosurgery has been challenged. Especially, the updated WHO classification regarding brain invasion and the efficacy of radiation therapy has not been taken into account when evaluating the prognostic role of the Simpson grading in this era. We analyzed the clinical and histopathological data of 1571 meningiomas that were surgically resected in the authors' institution between July 2003 and March 2017. Operative reports were reviewed regarding the extent of resection according to Simpson grading. Meningioma subtype according to the updated WHO classification of 2016 and clinical characteristics and time to tumor progression were analyzed. The mean follow-up was 38.4 months (range 1.2 to 195.6). A higher rate of tumor recurrence was observed for male gender, younger age, recurrent tumors, non-spinal tumor localization, higher WHO, and Simpson grades in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis older age, recurrent tumors and higher WHO grades remained negative prognostic factors. Among the different Simpson grades, the relative risk for recurrence was highest for grade IV compared to all other grades (each p < 0.0001), while there was no difference between Simpson grades I and II. Adjuvant radiotherapy showed lower rates of tumor recurrence. Subtotal microsurgical resection remains an independent prognostic factor with a higher rate of tumor recurrence. The prognostic benefit of radical treatment of the dural attachment is questionable and needs to be considered when weighing the intraoperative risks of radicality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-020-01428-7DOI Listing
October 2020

Ectopic fat accumulation in human astrocytes impairs insulin action.

R Soc Open Sci 2020 Sep 16;7(9):200701. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Astrocytes provide neurons with structural support and energy in form of lactate, modulate synaptic transmission, are insulin sensitive and act as gatekeeper for water, ions, glutamate and second messengers. Furthermore, astrocytes are important for glucose sensing, possess neuroendocrine functions and also play an important role in cerebral lipid metabolism. To answer the question, if there is a connection between lipid metabolism and insulin action in human astrocytes, we investigated if storage of ectopic lipids in human astrocytes has an impact on insulin signalling in those cells. Human astrocytes were cultured in the presence of a lipid emulsion, consisting of fatty acids and triglycerides, to induce ectopic lipid storage. After several days, cells were stimulated with insulin and gene expression profiling was performed. In addition, phosphorylation of Akt as well as glycogen synthesis and cell proliferation was assessed. Ectopic lipid storage was detected in human astrocytes after lipid exposure and lipid storage was persistent even when the fat emulsion was removed from the cell culture medium. Chronic exposure to lipids induced profound changes in the gene expression profile, whereby some genes showed a reversible gene expression profile upon removal of fat, and some did not. This included FOXO-dependent expression patterns. Furthermore, insulin-induced phosphorylation of Akt was diminished and also insulin-induced glycogen synthesis and proliferation was impaired in lipid-laden astrocytes. Chronic lipid exposure induces lipid storage in human astrocytes accompanied by insulin resistance. Analyses of the gene expression pattern indicated the potential of a partially reversible gene expression profile. Targeting astrocytic insulin resistance by reducing ectopic lipid load might represent a promising treatment target for insulin resistance of the brain in obesity, diabetes and neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7540778PMC
September 2020

Infratentorial IDH-mutant astrocytoma is a distinct subtype.

Acta Neuropathol 2020 10 10;140(4):569-581. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuropathology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany.

Diffuse IDH-mutant astrocytic tumors are rarely diagnosed in the cerebellum or brainstem. In this multi-institutional study, we characterized a series of primary infratentorial IDH-mutant astrocytic tumors with respect to clinical and molecular parameters. We report that about 80% of IDH mutations in these tumors are of non-IDH1-R132H variants which are rare in supratentorial astrocytomas. Most frequently, IDH1-R132C/G and IDH2-R172S/G mutations were present. Moreover, the frequencies of ATRX-loss and MGMT promoter methylation, which are typically associated with IDH mutations in supratentorial astrocytic tumors, were significantly lower in the infratentorial compartment. Gene panel sequencing revealed two samples with IDH1-R132C/H3F3A-K27M co-mutations. Genome-wide DNA methylation as well as chromosomal copy number profiling provided further evidence for a molecular distinctiveness of infratentorial IDH-mutant astrocytomas. Clinical outcome of patients with infratentorial IDH-mutant astrocytomas is significantly better than that of patients with diffuse midline gliomas, H3K27M-mutant (p < 0.005) and significantly worse than that of patients with supratentorial IDH-mutant astrocytomas (p = 0.028). The presented data highlight the very existence and distinctiveness of infratentorial IDH-mutant astrocytomas that have important implications for diagnostics and prognostication. They imply that molecular testing is critical for detection of these tumors, since many of these tumors cannot be identified by immunohistochemistry applied for the mutated IDH1-R132H protein or loss of ATRX.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-020-02194-yDOI Listing
October 2020

Association of dynamic susceptibility magnetic resonance imaging at initial tumor diagnosis with the prognosis of different molecular glioma subtypes.

Neurol Sci 2020 Dec 28;41(12):3625-3632. Epub 2020 May 28.

Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, Eberhard Karls University, Hoppe-Seyler-Straße 3, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany.

Purpose: The updated 2016 CNS World Health Organization classification differentiates three main groups of diffuse glioma according to their molecular characteristics: astrocytic tumors with and without isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation and 1p/19q co-deleted oligodendrogliomas. The present study aimed to determine whether dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging (DSC-MRI) is an independent prognostic marker within the molecular subgroups of diffuse glioma.

Methods: Fifty-six patients with treatment-naive gliomas and advanced preoperative MRI examination were assessed retrospectively. The mean and maximal normalized cerebral blood volume values from DSC-MRI within the tumors were measured. Optimal cutoff values for the 1-year progression-free survival (PFS) were defined, and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed separately for the three glioma subgroups.

Results: IDH wild-type astrocytic tumors had a higher mean and maximal perfusion than IDH-mutant astrocytic tumors and oligodendrogliomas. Patients with IDH wild-type astrocytic tumors and a low mean or maximal perfusion had a significantly shorter PFS than patients of the same group with high perfusion (p = 0.0159/0.0112). Furthermore, they had a significantly higher risk for early progression (hazard ratio = 5.6/5.1). This finding was independent of the methylation status of O6-methylguanin-DNA-methyltransferase and variations of the therapy. Within the groups of IDH-mutant astrocytic tumors and oligodendrogliomas, the PFS of low and highly perfused tumors did not differ.

Conclusion: High perfusion upon initial diagnosis is not compellingly associated with worse short-term prognosis within the different molecular subgroups of diffuse glioma. Particularly, the overall highly perfused group of IDH wild-type astrocytic tumors contains tumors with low perfusion but unfavorable prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04474-7DOI Listing
December 2020

Nonmetastatic Medulloblastoma of Early Childhood: Results From the Prospective Clinical Trial HIT-2000 and An Extended Validation Cohort.

J Clin Oncol 2020 06 24;38(18):2028-2040. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Department of Neuropathology, Institute for Pathology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Purpose: The HIT-2000-BIS4 trial aimed to avoid highly detrimental craniospinal irradiation (CSI) in children < 4 years of age with nonmetastatic medulloblastoma by systemic chemotherapy, intraventricular methotrexate, and risk-adapted local radiotherapy.

Patients And Methods: From 2001-2011, 87 patients received systemic chemotherapy and intraventricular methotrexate. Until 2006, CSI was reserved for nonresponse or progression. After 2006, local radiotherapy was introduced for nonresponders or patients with classic medulloblastoma (CMB) or large-cell/anaplastic medulloblastoma (LCA). DNA methylation profiles of infantile sonic hedgehog-activated medulloblastoma (SHH-INF) were subdivided into iSHH-I and iSHH-II subtypes in the HIT-2000-BIS4 cohort and a validation cohort (n = 71) from the HIT group and Russia.

Results: Five years after diagnosis, patients with desmoplastic medulloblastoma (DMB) or medulloblastoma with extensive nodularity (MBEN; n = 42) had 93% progression-free survival (5y-PFS), 100% overall survival (5y-OS), and 93% CSI-free (5y-CSI-free) survival. Patients with CMB/LCA (n = 45) had 37% 5y-PFS, 62% 5y-OS, and 39% 5y-CSI-free survival. Local radiotherapy did not improve survival in patients with CMB/LCA. All DMB/MBEN assessed by DNA methylation profiling belonged to the SHH-INF subgroup. Group 3 patients (5y-PFS, 36%; n = 14) relapsed more frequently than the SHH-INF group (5y-PFS, 93%; n = 28) or group 4 patients (5y-PFS, 83%; n = 6; < .001). SHH-INF split into iSHH-I and iSHH-II subtypes in HIT-2000-BIS4 and the validation cohort, without prognostic impact (5y-PFS: iSHH-I, 73%, iSHH-II, 83%; = .25; n = 99). Intelligence quotient (IQ) was significantly lower in patients after CSI (mean IQ, 90 [no radiotherapy], 74 [CSI]; = .012).

Conclusion: Systemic chemotherapy and intraventricular methotrexate led to favorable survival in both iSHH subtypes of SHH-activated DMB/MBEN with acceptable neurotoxicity. Survival in patients with non-wingless (WNT)/non-SHH disease with CMB/LCA was not improved by local radiotherapy. Patients with group 4 disease had more favorable survival rates than those with group 3 medulloblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.03057DOI Listing
June 2020

Corticosteroid-responsive aseptic meningitis during regorafenib treatment.

Neurooncol Pract 2019 Dec 18;6(6):508-509. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Interdisciplinary Division of Neuro-Oncology, Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nop/npz030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7105064PMC
December 2019

Infant High-Grade Gliomas Comprise Multiple Subgroups Characterized by Novel Targetable Gene Fusions and Favorable Outcomes.

Cancer Discov 2020 07 1;10(7):942-963. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Neuropathology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, and Research Institute Children's Cancer Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Infant high-grade gliomas appear clinically distinct from their counterparts in older children, indicating that histopathologic grading may not accurately reflect the biology of these tumors. We have collected 241 cases under 4 years of age, and carried out histologic review, methylation profiling, and custom panel, genome, or exome sequencing. After excluding tumors representing other established entities or subgroups, we identified 130 cases to be part of an "intrinsic" spectrum of disease specific to the infant population. These included those with targetable MAPK alterations, and a large proportion of remaining cases harboring gene fusions targeting ( = 31), ( = 21), ( = 9), and ( = 4) as their driving alterations, with evidence of efficacy of targeted agents in the clinic. These data strongly support the concept that infant gliomas require a change in diagnostic practice and management. SIGNIFICANCE: Infant high-grade gliomas in the cerebral hemispheres comprise novel subgroups, with a prevalence of , or gene fusions. Kinase fusion-positive tumors have better outcome and respond to targeted therapy clinically. Other subgroups have poor outcome, with fusion-negative cases possibly representing an epigenetically driven pluripotent stem cell phenotype...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-1030DOI Listing
July 2020

Targetable ERBB2 mutations identified in neurofibroma/schwannoma hybrid nerve sheath tumors.

J Clin Invest 2020 05;130(5):2488-2495

Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology (HIPO), DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany.

BACKGROUNDNeurofibroma/schwannoma hybrid nerve sheath tumors (N/S HNSTs) are neoplasms associated with larger nerves that occur sporadically and in the context of schwannomatosis or neurofibromatosis type 2 or 1. Clinical management of N/S HNSTs is challenging, especially for large tumors, and established systemic treatments are lacking.METHODSWe used next-generation sequencing and array-based DNA methylation profiling to determine the clinically actionable genomic and epigenomic landscapes of N/S HNSTs.RESULTSWhole-exome sequencing within a precision oncology program identified an activating mutation (p.Asp769Tyr) in the catalytic domain of the ERBB2 receptor tyrosine kinase in a patient with schwannomatosis-associated N/S HNST, and targeted treatment with the small-molecule ERBB inhibitor lapatinib led to prolonged clinical benefit and a lasting radiographic and metabolic response. Analysis of a multicenter validation cohort revealed recurrent ERBB2 mutations (p.Leu755Ser, p.Asp769Tyr, p.Val777Leu) in N/S HNSTs occurring in patients who met diagnostic criteria for sporadic schwannomatosis (3 of 7 patients), but not in N/S HNSTs arising in the context of neurofibromatosis (6 patients) or outside a tumor syndrome (1 patient), and showed that ERBB2-mutant N/S HNSTs cluster in a distinct subgroup of peripheral nerve sheath tumors based on genome-wide DNA methylation patterns.CONCLUSIONThese findings uncover a key biological feature of N/S HNSTs that may have important diagnostic and therapeutic implications.FUNDINGThis work was supported by grant H021 from DKFZ-HIPO, the University Cancer Center Frankfurt, and the Frankfurt Research Funding Clinician Scientist Program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI130787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190903PMC
May 2020

The molecular landscape of ETMR at diagnosis and relapse.

Nature 2019 12 4;576(7786):274-280. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Department of Pathology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Embryonal tumours with multilayered rosettes (ETMRs) are aggressive paediatric embryonal brain tumours with a universally poor prognosis. Here we collected 193 primary ETMRs and 23 matched relapse samples to investigate the genomic landscape of this distinct tumour type. We found that patients with tumours in which the proposed driver C19MC was not amplified frequently had germline mutations in DICER1 or other microRNA-related aberrations such as somatic amplification of miR-17-92 (also known as MIR17HG). Whole-genome sequencing revealed that tumours had an overall low recurrence of single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), but showed prevalent genomic instability caused by widespread occurrence of R-loop structures. We show that R-loop-associated chromosomal instability can be induced by the loss of DICER1 function. Comparison of primary tumours and matched relapse samples showed a strong conservation of structural variants, but low conservation of SNVs. Moreover, many newly acquired SNVs are associated with a mutational signature related to cisplatin treatment. Finally, we show that targeting R-loops with topoisomerase and PARP inhibitors might be an effective treatment strategy for this deadly disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1815-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6908757PMC
December 2019

Correction to: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in two brothers with DNA ligase IV deficiency: a case report and review of the literature.

BMC Pediatr 2019 Dec 2;19(1):470. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department I - General Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology, University Children's Hospital Tuebingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str.1, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany.

After publication of the original article (1), it was brought to our attention that references 24 and 31 are inappropriately cited in the article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12887-019-1851-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6886177PMC
December 2019

High density DNA methylation array is a reliable alternative for PCR-based analysis of the MGMT promoter methylation status in glioblastoma.

Pathol Res Pract 2020 Jan 11;216(1):152728. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Institute of Neurology (Edinger Institute), Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; NORLUX Neuro-Oncology Laboratory, Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Luxembourg; Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg; National Center of Pathology (NCP), Laboratoire national de santé (LNS), Dudelange, Luxembourg; Luxembourg Centre of Neuropathology (LCNP), Luxembourg. Electronic address:

Aim: MGMT promoter methylation status is an important biomarker predicting survival and response to chemotherapy in patients suffering from glioblastoma. Since new diagnostic methods such as methylome-based classification of brain tumors are more and more frequently performed, we aimed at comparing the suitability of calculating the MGMT promoter methylation status in a quantitative manner from the methylome profiling as compared to the classic gold standard assessment by PCR.

Methods: Our cohort consisted of 39 cases diagnosed as "glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype" of which the MGMT promoter methylation status was analyzed with both methylation-specific PCR and high density DNA methylation array using the STP-27 algorithm. Contradictory results were validated by pyrosequencing.

Results: The inter-method reliability reached 77% (kappa-coefficient: 0.58) when also cases with an inconclusive result in one or the other method were taken into account. When only cases with conclusive results in both methods were considered, a very high inter-method reliability of 91% (kappa-coefficient: 0.86) could be achieved. For "methylated" cases, no contradictory results were obtained. For the remaining two cases with discrepant results subsequent pyrosequencing analyses spoke in favor of each previously applied method once.

Conclusion: In addition to its benefits for molecular subgrouping and copy number analysis of brain tumors, DNA-methylation based classification is a highly reliable tool for the assessment of MGMT promoter methylation status in glioblastoma patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prp.2019.152728DOI Listing
January 2020

Molecular subgrouping of primary pineal parenchymal tumors reveals distinct subtypes correlated with clinical parameters and genetic alterations.

Acta Neuropathol 2020 02 25;139(2):243-257. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Tumors of the pineal region comprise several different entities with distinct clinical and histopathological features. Whereas some entities predominantly affect adults, pineoblastoma (PB) constitutes a highly aggressive malignancy of childhood with a poor outcome. PBs mainly arise sporadically, but may also occur in the context of cancer predisposition syndromes including DICER1 and RB1 germline mutation. With this study, we investigate clinico-pathological subgroups of pineal tumors and further characterize their biological features. We performed genome-wide DNA methylation analysis in 195 tumors of the pineal region and 20 normal pineal gland controls. Copy-number profiles were obtained from DNA methylation data; gene panel sequencing was added for 93 tumors and analysis was further complemented by miRNA sequencing for 22 tumor samples. Unsupervised clustering based on DNA methylation profiling separated known subgroups, like pineocytoma, pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation, papillary tumor of the pineal region and PB, and further distinct subtypes within these groups, including three subtypes within the core PB subgroup. The novel molecular subgroup Pin-RB includes cases of trilateral retinoblastoma as well as sporadic pineal tumors with RB1 alterations, and displays similarities with retinoblastoma. Distinct clinical associations discriminate the second novel molecular subgroup PB-MYC from other PB cases. Alterations within the miRNA processing pathway (affecting DROSHA, DGCR8 or DICER1) are found in about two thirds of cases in the three core PB subtypes. Methylation profiling revealed biologically distinct groups of pineal tumors with specific clinical and molecular features. Our findings provide a foundation for further clinical as well as molecular and functional characterization of PB and other pineal tumors, including the role of miRNA processing defects in oncogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-02101-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275775PMC
February 2020

Tumors diagnosed as cerebellar glioblastoma comprise distinct molecular entities.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2019 10 28;7(1):163. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

In this multi-institutional study we compiled a retrospective cohort of 86 posterior fossa tumors having received the diagnosis of cerebellar glioblastoma (cGBM). All tumors were reviewed histologically and subjected to array-based methylation analysis followed by algorithm-based classification into distinct methylation classes (MCs). The single MC containing the largest proportion of 25 tumors diagnosed as cGBM was MC anaplastic astrocytoma with piloid features representing a recently-described molecular tumor entity not yet included in the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System (WHO classification). Twenty-nine tumors molecularly corresponded to either of 6 methylation subclasses subsumed in the MC family GBM IDH wildtype. Further we identified 6 tumors belonging to the MC diffuse midline glioma H3 K27 M mutant and 6 tumors allotted to the MC IDH mutant glioma subclass astrocytoma. Two tumors were classified as MC pilocytic astrocytoma of the posterior fossa, one as MC CNS high grade neuroepithelial tumor with BCOR alteration and one as MC control tissue, inflammatory tumor microenvironment. The methylation profiles of 16 tumors could not clearly be assigned to one distinct MC. In comparison to supratentorial localization, the MC GBM IDH wildtype subclass midline was overrepresented, whereas the MCs GBM IDH wildtype subclass mesenchymal and subclass RTK II were underrepresented in the cerebellum. Based on the integration of molecular and histological findings all tumors received an integrated diagnosis in line with the WHO classification 2016. In conclusion, cGBM does not represent a molecularly uniform tumor entity, but rather comprises different brain tumor entities with diverse prognosis and therapeutic options. Distinction of these molecular tumor classes requires molecular analysis. More than 30% of tumors diagnosed as cGBM belong to the recently described molecular entity of anaplastic astrocytoma with piloid features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-019-0801-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6816155PMC
October 2019