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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2001 Aug 15;93(16):1246-56.

PTEN mutation, EGFR amplification, and outcome in patients with anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Survival of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma is highly variable. Prognostic markers would thus be useful to identify clinical subsets of such patients. Because specific genetic alterations have been associated with glioblastoma, we investigated whether similar genetic alterations could be detected in patients with anaplastic astrocytoma and used to identify those with particularly aggressive disease.


Tissue specimens were collected from 174 patients enrolled in Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and North Central Cancer Treatment Group clinical trials for newly diagnosed gliomas, including 63 with anaplastic astrocytoma and 111 with glioblastoma multiforme. Alterations of the EGFR, PTEN, and p53 genes and of chromosomes 7 and 10 were examined by fluorescence in situ hybridization, semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing. All statistical tests were two-sided.


Mutation of PTEN, amplification of EGFR, and loss of the q arm of chromosome 10 were statistically significantly less common in anaplastic astrocytoma than in glioblastoma multiforme (P =.033, P =.001, and P<.001, respectively), and mutation of p53 was statistically significantly more common (P<.001). Univariate survival analyses of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma identified PTEN (P =.002) and p53 (P =.012) mutations as statistically significantly associated with reduced and prolonged survival, respectively. Multivariate Cox analysis of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma showed that PTEN mutation remained a powerful prognostic factor after adjusting for patient age, on-study performance score, and extent of tumor resection (hazard ratio = 4.34; 95% confidence interval = 1.82 to 10.34). Multivariate classification and regression-tree analysis of all 174 patients identified EGFR amplification as an independent predictor of prolonged survival in patients with glioblastoma multiforme who were older than 60 years of age.


PTEN mutation and EGFR amplification are important prognostic factors in patients with anaplastic astrocytoma and in older patients with glioblastoma multiforme, respectively.

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