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J Clin Oncol. 2003 Aug 1;21(15):2968-73.

Study of the MIB-1 labeling index as a predictor of tumor progression in pilocytic astrocytomas in children and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75390-9063, USA. daniel.bowers@



The pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is the most common childhood brain tumor. This report examines the MIB-1 labeling index (LI) as a predictor of progression-free survival (PFS) among childhood PAs.


Consecutive PAs were examined to determine whether the MIB-1 LI was associated with tumor progression. Other variables evaluated included tumor location, use of adjuvant therapy, extent of resection, and age at diagnosis.


One hundred forty-one children were identified (mean +/- SD age, 7.6 +/- 4.7 years; range, 0.43 to 18.56 years); 118 children had adequate tissue for MIB-1 immunohistochemistry. The 5-year PFS was 61.25%. By log-rank analysis, an MIB-1 LI of more than 2.0 was associated with shortened PFS (P =.035). Patients with PAs who underwent complete surgical resection, had tumors located in the cerebellum, and were treated with surgery only also had more prolonged PFS (P =.001 for all). Tumors in the optic pathways were associated with a shorter PFS (P =.001). Restricting the evaluation of MIB-1 LI to only incompletely resected tumors revealed an insignificant trend of MIB-1 LI of more than 2.0 having a shortened PFS. Multivariate analysis demonstrated completely resected tumors and tumors located in the cerebellum as less likely to progress (P =.001 and.019, respectively).


Children with PAs with an MIB-1 LI of more than 2.0 have a shortened PFS. PAs that are completely resected and are located in the cerebellum have a prolonged PFS. This initial study suggests that the MIB-1 LI identifies a more aggressive subset of PAs. Further work should focus on elucidating features of pilocytic astocytomas that will identify prospectively children at risk for progression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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