Midline Glioma in Adults: Clinicopathological, Genetic, and Epigenetic Analysis

Toshiyuki Enomoto, Mikiko Aoki, Makoto Hamasaki, Hiroshi Abe, Masani Nonaka, Tooru Inoue, Kazuki Nabeshima
Neurologia Medico-chirurgica 2020 March 15, 60 (3): 136-146
The histone H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma is often seen in children and has a very poor prognosis regardless of its histological grade. Although it can occur in adults, few studies on adult cases have been reported. We examined adult midline glioma cases for their histological grade, presence of H3K27M mutation, and expression of related factors-enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), H3K27me3, p16, and methylthioadenosine phosphorylase. These tumor characteristics were also evaluated for their prognostic value in adult midline glioma. High histological grade, H3K27M-mutant, high EZH2 expression, and high H3K27me3 expression was detected in 12/23 (53%), 11/23 (48%), 9/23 (39%), and 12/23 (52%) cases, respectively. Histological grade and prognosis were significantly correlated (P <0.01). The high expression of EZH2 and the low expression of H3K27me3 correlated with histological malignancy (P = 0.019 and 0.009) and prognosis (P = 0.048 and 0.047). To broaden the scope of our analysis, a review of cases reported in the literature (2014-2019) was performed. In the 171 cases, H3K27M-mutant showed poor prognosis in the young adult group (P = 0.001), whereas H3K27 status had no effect on prognosis in the older age group (P = 0.141). Histological grade was correlated with prognosis in both young adults and older groups (P <0.001, P = 0.003, respectively). We demonstrate differences in prognostic factors for diffuse gliomas in the midline region for children and adults. Importantly, the H3K27M mutation significantly influences prognosis in children, but not necessarily in adults. Contrarily, histological grading and immunostaining are important prognostic tools in adults.

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