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Childs Nerv Syst. 2013 Aug;29(8):1253-62. doi: 10.1007/s00381-013-2142-4. Epub 2013 May 16.

Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst₂) is a potential prognostic marker and a therapeutic target in medulloblastoma.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre, Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.



Neuroectodermal tumors in general demonstrate high and dense expression of the somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst₂). It controls proliferation of both normal and neoplastic cells. sst₂ has thus been suggested as a therapeutic target and prognostic marker for certain malignancies.


To assess global expression patterns of sst 2 mRNA, we evaluated normal (n = 353) and tumor tissues (n = 340) derived from previously published gene expression profiling studies. These analyses demonstrated specific upregulation of sst 2 mRNA in medulloblastoma (p < 0.001). sst₂ protein was investigated by immunohistochemistry in two independent cohorts.


Correlation of sst₂ protein expression with clinicopathological variables revealed significantly higher levels in medulloblastoma (p < 0.05) compared with CNS-PNET, ependymoma, or pilocytic astrocytoma. The non-SHH medulloblastoma subgroup tumors showed particularly high expression of sst₂, when compared to other tumors and normal tissues. Furthermore, we detected a significant survival benefit in children with tumors exhibiting high sst₂ expression (p = 0.02) in this screening set. A similar trend was observed in a validation cohort including 240 independent medulloblastoma samples.


sst₂ is highly expressed in medulloblastoma and deserves further evaluation in the setting of prospective trials, given its potential utility as a prognostic marker and a therapeutic target.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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