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Indian J Cancer. 2019 Jul-Sep;56(3):197-201. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_51_18.

WT1 in astrocytomas: Comprehensive evaluation of immunohistochemical expression and its potential utility in different histological grades.

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Department of Pathology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India.



Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) mutation has recently been detected in gliomas. Growing data indicate that WT1 mutation plays a causal role in gliomagenesis and is overexpressed in most glioblastomas. An emerging immunotherapy targeting WT1 has shown to be effective in resistant glioblastomas in clinical trials. WT1 expression and its potential utility in various grades of astrocytomas is still unclear and needs further elucidation. The evaluation of WT1 can be done by molecular or immunohistochemical methods. As immunohistochemistry is easier with wider routine use, immunoexpression of this biomarker was studied.


The aim of this study was to characterize WT1 immunoexpression across different histological grades of astrocytomas to routinely aid in diagnosis and reproducibility and to assess the association between WT1 and immunomarker isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1).


This was an observational prospective study on 79 cases of astrocytomas.


Seventy-nine astrocytomas including 11 recurrent tumors were assessed for WT1 by immunohistochemistry. WT1 expression was detected in all astrocytomas (100%). The control group of reactive gliosis was negative. WT1 score correlated with histological tumor grades (P < 0.001) with higher score in higher grade. It was also observed that different tumor grades depicted two distinct expression patterns. WT1 score and pattern were valuable in differentiating high- and low-grade astrocytomas.


This study supports the oncogenic role of WT1 in astrocytomas. WT1 was found to be valuable in distinguishing different grades of astrocytomas. WT1 can aid in differentiating neoplastic process from reactive gliosis, particularly in recurrent tumors. Higher expression in glioblastomas supports its immunotherapy potential.


Astrocytomas; WT1; gliomas; immunohistochemistry

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