A hypermethylated phenotype is a better predictor of survival than MGMT methylation in anaplastic oligodendroglial brain tumors: A report from EORTC study 26951
Purpose: The MGMT promoter methylation status has been suggested to be predictive for outcome to temozolomide chemotherapy in patients with glioblastoma (GBM). Subsequent studies indicated that MGMT promoter methylation is a prognostic marker even in patients treated with radiotherapy alone, both in GBMs and in grade III gliomas. Experimental Design: To help determine the molecular mechanism behind this prognostic effect, we have conducted genome-wide methylation profiling and determined the MGMT promoter methylation status, 1p19q LOH, IDH1 mutation status, and expression profile on a series of oligodendroglial tumors [anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (AOD) and anaplastic oligoastrocytomas (AOA)] within EORTC study 26951. The series was expanded with tumors of the same histology and treatment from our own archive. Results: Methylation profiling identified two main subgroups of oligodendroglial brain tumors of which survival in the CpG island hypermethylation phenotype (CIMP+) subgroup was markedly better than the survival of the unmethylated (CIMP-) subgroup (5.62 vs. 1.24 years; P < 0.0001). CIMP status correlated with survival, MGMT promoter methylation, 1p19q LOH, and IDH1 mutation status. CIMP status strongly increases the predictive accuracy of survival in a model including known clinical prognostic factors such as age and performance score. We validated our results on an independent data set from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Conclusion: The strong association between CIMP status andMGMTpromoter methylation suggests that the MGMT promoter methylation status is part of a more general, prognostically favorable genome-wide methylation profile. Methylation profiling therefore may help identify AODs and AOAs with improved prognosis.