Histopathological spectrum of paediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

Published

Journal Article

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is the main cause of brain tumour-related death in children. In the majority of cases diagnosis is based on clinical and MRI findings, resulting in the scarcity of pre-treatment specimens available to study. Our group has developed an autopsy-based protocol to investigate the histologic and biologic spectrum of DIPG. This has also allowed us to investigate the terminal pattern of disease and gain a better understanding of what challenges we are facing in treating DIPG. Here, we review 72 DIPG cases with well documented clinical history and molecular data and describe the pathological features of this disease in relation to clinical and genetic features. Fifty-three of the samples were autopsy material (7 pre-treatment) and 19 were pre-treatment biopsy/surgical specimens. Upon histological review, 62 patients had high-grade astrocytomas (18 WHO grade III and 44 WHO grade IV patients), 8 had WHO grade II astrocytomas, and 2 had features of primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET). K27M-H3 mutations were exclusively found in tumours with WHO grade II-IV astrocytoma histology. K27M-H3.1 and ACVR1 mutations as well as ALT phenotype were only found in WHO grade III-IV astrocytomas, while PIK3CA mutations and PDGFRA gains/amplifications were found in WHO grade II-IV astrocytomas. Approximately 1/3 of DIPG patients had leptomeningeal spread of their tumour. Further, diffuse invasion of the brainstem, spinal cord and thalamus was common with some cases showing spread as distant as the frontal lobes. These findings suggest that focal radiation may be inadequate for some of these patients. Importantly, we show that clinically classic DIPGs represent a diverse histologic spectrum, including multiple cases which would fit WHO criteria of grade II astrocytoma which nevertheless behave clinically as high-grade astrocytomas and harbour the histone K27M-H3.3 mutation. This suggests that the current WHO astrocytoma grading scheme may not appropriately predict outcome for paediatric brainstem gliomas.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Buczkowicz, P; Bartels, U; Bouffet, E; Becher, O; Hawkins, C

Published Date

  • October 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 128 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 573 - 581

PubMed ID

  • 25047029

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25047029

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-0533

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-6322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00401-014-1319-6

Language

  • eng