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Am J Pathol. 1995 Feb;146(2):472-80.

Correlation of loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 9q with histological subtype in medulloblastomas.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


Patients with the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) are at increased risk for medulloblastomas as well as for basal cell carcinomas. The gene for NBCCS has been mapped to chromosome 9q22.3-q31 by linkage analysis, and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in this region has been demonstrated in approximately one-half of sporadic basal cell carcinomas. In the present study, LOH for chromosome 9q22.3-q31 microsatellite markers was investigated in medulloblastomas occurring among children with NBCCS and in sporadic medulloblastomas. Histologically, all 3 NBCCS medulloblastomas were noted to have a desmoplastic phenotype, and LOH was detected in both of the 2 cases for which microsatellite markers were heterozygous in normal tissues. LOH was also detected in a subset of sporadic medulloblastomas, each of which were found to display the desmoplastic phenotype. In all, 3 of the 6 sporadic desmoplastic tumors showed LOH, whereas LOH was not seen in any of the 11 sporadic, non-desmoplastic medulloblastomas studied. Additionally, desmoplastic tumors lacking detectable LOH each showed histological features of so-called cerebellar neuroblastoma, a subgroup of desmoplastic medulloblastoma with extensive neuroblastomatous differentiation. The data are consistent with a role for inactivation of a tumor suppressor gene at chromosome 9q in the development of medulloblastomas in patients with NBCCS and of sporadic medulloblastomas characterized by a desmoplastic phenotype similar to that found in patients with NBCCS. Restriction of chromosome 9q loss to non-neuroblastomatous desmoplastic tumors suggests that this variant of medulloblastoma maybe pathogenetically distinct from tumors having other histological phenotypes.

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