Abstracts of scientific publications

Microarray-Based Screening for Molecular Markers in Medulloblastoma Revealed STK15 as Independent Predictor for Survival
Kai Neben, Andrey Korshunov, Axel Benner, Gunnar Wrobel, Meinhard Hahn, Felix Kokocinski, Andrey Golanov, Stefan Joos, Peter Lichter
Cancer Research  2004  64(9):3103-11
Medulloblastoma, a primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the cerebellum, is one of the most common central nervous system malignancies of childhood. Despite aggressive multimodal therapy, including surgery, irradiation, and chemotherapy, 5-year survival rates have only approached 50-60%. To identify potential candidate genes that predict for overall survival (OS), we performed a gene expression profiling analysis in 35 newly diagnosed medulloblastoma neoplasms. Subsequently, the nine most promising candidate genes were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization on tumor tissue microarrays representing a series of 180 tumors. We found 54 genes in which expression levels predicted for unfavorable survival in medulloblastoma. In line with the gene expression profiling analysis, a positive staining for STK15 (P = 0.0006), stathmin 1 (P = 0.001), and cyclin D1 (P = 0.03) was associated with an unfavorable OS, whereas cyclin B1, DAXX, Ki-67, MYC, NRAS, and p53 showed no statistical significant effect. In comparison to clinically defined parameters such as gender, age, metastatic stage, extent of tumor resection, application of chemotherapy, and tumor grade, positive staining for STK15 was identified as an independent prognostic factor for OS (P = 0.026). Moreover, additional gene copy numbers of MYC (P = 0.003) and STK15 (P = 0.05) predicted for poor survival. The combination of gene expression profiling with tissue microarray experiments allowed the identification of a series of candidate genes that predicts for survival in medulloblastoma. Of the results highlighted by the various data analysis procedures, genes associated with cell proliferation (cyclin D1), transcription (MYC), and especially mitosis (stathmin 1, STK15) appear particularly intriguing with respect to medulloblastoma pathomechanism.