Background. Genetic and epigenetic profiling of glioblastomas has provided a comprehensive list of altered cancer genes of which only O6- methylguanine-methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation is used thus far as a predictive marker in a clinical setting. We investigated the prognostic significance of genetic and epigenetic alterations in glioblastoma patients. Methods. We screened 98 human glioblastoma samples for genetic and epigenetic alterations in 10 genes and chromosomal loci by PCR and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). We tested the association between these genetic and epigenetic alterations and glioblastoma patient survival. Subsequently, we developed a 2-gene survival predictor. Results. Multivariate analyses revealed that mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), promoter methylation of MGMT, irradiation dosage, and Karnofsky Performance Status (KFS) were independent prognostic factors. A 2-gene predictor for glioblastoma survival was generated. Based on the genetic and epigenetic status of IDH1 and MGMT, glioblastoma patients were stratified into 3 clinically different genotypes: glioblastoma patients with IDH1 mt/ MGMTmet had the longest survival, followed by patients with IDH1 mt/MGMTunmet or IDH1wt/MGMTmet, and patients with IDH1wt/ MGMTunmet had the shortest survival. This 2-gene predictor was an independent prognostic factor and performed significantly better in predicting survival than either IDH1 mutations or MGMT methylation alone. The predictor was validated in 3 external datasets. Discussion. The combination of IDH1 mutations and MGMT methylation outperforms either IDH1 mutations or MGMT methylation alone in predicting survival of glioblastoma patients. This information will help to increase our understanding of glioblastoma biology, and it may be helpful for baseline comparisons in future clinical trials.

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Department of Neurosurgery

Molenaar, R.J, Verbaan, D, Lamba, S, Zanon, C, Jeuken, J, Boots-Sprenger, S.H.E, … Bleeker, F.E. (2014). The combination of IDH1 mutations and MGMT methylation status predicts survival in glioblastoma better than either IDH1 or MGMT alone. Neuro-Oncology, 16(9), 1263–1273. doi:10.1093/neuonc/nou005