Classification of adult diffuse gliomas by molecular markers—a short review with historical footnote
Accumulation of information on molecular genetic/epigenetic alterations in gliomas has now demonstrated that classification based on molecular data is superior to classic histological classification in objectivity and clinical relevance. Classification of gliomas, first established by Cushing and Bailey in early 20th century, has been based on histological features that were associated with clinical behavior of the tumor fairly well. However, inter-observer variation in the diagnosis and heterogeneous clinical outcome within a single entity have been problematic in some cases. Accumulation of molecular information of gliomas over the past two to three decades gradually elucidated the mechanism of oncogenesis and progression of gliomas at the molecular level, and it now appears to be possible to classify gliomas by the molecular markers, especially in adult diffuse gliomas that constitute ~25–30% of the primary intracranial tumors. Most powerful molecular markers to classify those tumors are those that appear to be involved in the early phases of oncogenesis, including IDH1/2, TP53, TERT, ATRX and 1p/19q co-deletion. Interesting tight negative and positive correlations among those molecular genetic alterations enable clearer definition of entities and better prognosis prediction in adult diffuse gliomas.
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