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J Neurooncol. 1999 Feb;41(3):205-11.

CDKN2/p16 predicts survival in oligodendrogliomas: comparison with astrocytomas.

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Department of Anatomy, Tampere University Medical School, Tampere University Hospital, Finland.


Cyclin-dependent kinase 4 inhibitor (CDKN2/p16) is a cell cycle regulatory protein that has been demonstrated to be inactivated by mutations, deletions or transcriptional silencing during pathogenesis of a variety of human malignancies. We studied the correlation of CDKN2/p16 expression with cell proliferation activity and patient survival in 42 oligodendrogliomas and 36 astrocytomas. CDKN2/p16 expression was frequently decreased in grade II and anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (17/42) where lack of CDKN2/p16 protein predicted poor survival (p = 0.0045). In astrocytomas low CDKN2/p16 expression was associated with high histologic malignancy grade (p = 0.002): CDKN2/p16 protein level was decreased in 9 out of 10 glioblastomas, in 5 out of 9 anaplastic astrocytomas, in 3 out of 10 grade II astrocytomas and in none of pilocytic astocytomas (0/7). Low CDKN2/p16 expression was also associated with high cell proliferation activity (MIB-1 immunocytochemistry: p = 0.004; mitotic index: p = 0.007) and poor patient survival (p = 0.025) in astrocytomas. Low CDKN2/p16 mRNA expression had the same topographic distribution as nuclear CDKN2/p16 immunoreactivity proving for reliability of the immunocytochemical findings. Our results are in agreement with earlier studies demonstrating CDKN2/p16 inactivation during tumorigenesis of astrocytic tumors. Furthermore, our findings suggest that loss of CDKN2/p16 expression may also play an important role in the progression of oligodendrogliomas. According to our findings CDKN2/p16 immunocytochemistry could be used as a tool to identify those oligodendrogliomas and low grade astrocytomas that are likely to progress and have poor outcome, and thus would need more aggressive therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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