JOURNAL ARTICLE

Stem cell marker CD133 affects clinical outcome in glioma patients

Felix Zeppernick, Rezvan Ahmadi, Benito Campos, Christine Dictus, Burkhard M Helmke, Natalia Becker, Peter Lichter, Andreas Unterberg, Bernhard Radlwimmer, Christel C Herold-Mende
Clinical Cancer Research 2008 January 1, 14 (1): 123-9
18172261

PURPOSE: The CD133 antigen has been identified as a putative stem cell marker in normal and malignant brain tissues. In gliomas, it is used to enrich a subpopulation of highly tumorigenic cancer cells. According to the cancer stem cell hypothesis, CD133-positive cells determine long-term tumor growth and, therefore, are suspected to influence clinical outcome. To date, a correlation between CD133 expression in primary tumor tissues and patients' prognosis has not been reported.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To address this question, we analyzed the expression of the CD133 stem cell antigen in a series of 95 gliomas of various grade and histology by immunohistochemistry on cryostat sections. Staining data were correlated with patient outcome.

RESULTS: By multivariate survival analysis, we found that both the proportion of CD133-positive cells and their topological organization in clusters were significant (P < 0.001) prognostic factors for adverse progression-free survival and overall survival independent of tumor grade, extent of resection, or patient age. Furthermore, proportion of CD133-positive cells was an independent risk factor for tumor regrowth and time to malignant progression in WHO grade 2 and 3 tumors.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings constitute the first conclusive evidence that CD133 stem cell antigen expression correlates with patient survival in gliomas, lending support to the current cancer stem cell hypothesis.

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