Background: Glioblastomas are the most common and most malignant brain tumors in adults. A small subgroup of glioblastomas contains areas with histological features of oligodendroglial differentiation (GBMO). Our objective was to genetically characterize the oligodendroglial and the astrocytic parts of GBMOs and correlate morphologic and genetic features with clinical data.
Methods: The oligodendroglial and the “classic” glioblastoma parts of 13 GBMO were analyzed separately by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on paraffin sections using a custom probe set (regions 1p, 1q, 7q, 10q, 17p, 19q, cen18, 21q) and by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) of microdissected paraffin embedded tumor tissue.
Results: We identified four distinct genetic subtypes in 13 GBMOs: an “astrocytic” subtype (9/13) characterized by +7/−10; an “oligodendroglial” subtype with −1p/−19q (1/13); an “intermediate” subtype showing +7/−1p (1/13), and an “other” subtype having none of the former aberrations typical for gliomas (2/13). The different histological tumor parts of GBMO revealed common genetic changes in all tumors and showed additional aberrations specific for each part.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate the monoclonal origin of GBMO followed by the development of the astrocytic and oligodendroglial components. The diagnostic determination of the genetic signatures may allow for a better prognostication of the patients.