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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1999 Mar;109(2):172-4.

Tumor necrosis factor microsatellite polymorphisms in Italian glioblastoma patients.

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Instituto Nazionale Neurologico C. Besta, Milan, Italy.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) genes map on the short arm of chromosome 6 and have been described to contain several polymorphic regions, the most informative of which are TNFa (13 alleles) and TNFb (8 alleles) microsatellites. We analyze TNFa and TNFb microsatellite polymorphisms in 58 Italian patients with glioblastoma (GBL) and 95 unrelated healthy controls. At the TNFb locus, we detected a statistically significant decrease in the TNFb4 allele in GBL patients compared with the controls (P = 0.002; Pcorr = 0.015). Among the patients, 8 were homozygous TNFb4 (+/+), 23 were TNFb4 heterozygous (+/-), and 27 were negative for TNFb4 (-/-). In a comparison with the controls, we detected a statistically significant difference (P = 0.017). In fact, although no difference was detected in +/-, statistically significant differences were detected both for an increase in -/- and for a decrease in +/+ in the patient groups (P = 0.006 and P = 0.047, respectively). These data suggest that TNFb4-negative individuals might preferentially develop a Th2-type immune response that could lead to a reduction in antitumor activity.

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