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Cancer Cell. 2006 Mar;9(3):157-73.

Molecular subclasses of high-grade glioma predict prognosis, delineate a pattern of disease progression, and resemble stages in neurogenesis.

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Department of Tumor Biology and Angiogenesis, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Previously undescribed prognostic subclasses of high-grade astrocytoma are identified and discovered to resemble stages in neurogenesis. One tumor class displaying neuronal lineage markers shows longer survival, while two tumor classes enriched for neural stem cell markers display equally short survival. Poor prognosis subclasses exhibit markers either of proliferation or of angiogenesis and mesenchyme. Upon recurrence, tumors frequently shift toward the mesenchymal subclass. Chromosomal locations of genes distinguishing tumor subclass parallel DNA copy number differences between subclasses. Functional relevance of tumor subtype molecular signatures is suggested by the ability of cell line signatures to predict neurosphere growth. A robust two-gene prognostic model utilizing PTEN and DLL3 expression suggests that Akt and Notch signaling are hallmarks of poor prognosis versus better prognosis gliomas, respectively.

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