Adult infiltrating gliomas with WHO 2016 integrated diagnosis: additional prognostic roles of ATRX and TERT

Melike Pekmezci, Terri Rice, Annette M. Molinaro, Kyle M. Walsh, Paul A. Decker, Helen Hansen, Hugues Sicotte, Thomas M. Kollmeyer, Lucie S. McCoy, Gobinda Sarkar, Arie Perry, Caterina Giannini, Tarik Tihan, Mitchel S. Berger, Joseph L. Wiemels, Paige M. Bracci, Jeanette E. Eckel-Passow, Daniel H. Lachance, Jennifer Clarke, Jennie W. TaylorTracy Luks, John K. Wiencke, Robert B. Jenkins, Margaret R. Wrensch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The “integrated diagnosis” for infiltrating gliomas in the 2016 revised World Health Organization (WHO) classification of tumors of the central nervous system requires assessment of the tumor for IDH mutations and 1p/19q codeletion. Since TERT promoter mutations and ATRX alterations have been shown to be associated with prognosis, we analyzed whether these tumor markers provide additional prognostic information within each of the five WHO 2016 categories. We used data for 1206 patients from the UCSF Adult Glioma Study, the Mayo Clinic and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) with infiltrative glioma, grades II-IV for whom tumor status for IDH, 1p/19q codeletion, ATRX, and TERT had been determined. All cases were assigned to one of 5 groups following the WHO 2016 diagnostic criteria based on their morphologic features, and IDH and 1p/19q codeletion status. These groups are: (1) Oligodendroglioma, IDH-mutant and 1p/19q-codeleted; (2) Astrocytoma, IDH-mutant; (3) Glioblastoma, IDH-mutant; (4) Glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype; and (5) Astrocytoma, IDH-wildtype. Within each group, we used univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models to assess associations of overall survival with patient age at diagnosis, grade, and ATRX alteration status and/or TERT promoter mutation status. Among Group 1 IDH-mutant 1p/19q-codeleted oligodendrogliomas, the TERT-WT group had significantly worse overall survival than the TERT-MUT group (HR: 2.72, 95% CI 1.05–7.04, p = 0.04). In both Group 2, IDH-mutant astrocytomas and Group 3, IDH-mutant glioblastomas, neither TERT mutations nor ATRX alterations were significantly associated with survival. Among Group 4, IDH-wildtype glioblastomas, ATRX alterations were associated with favorable outcomes (HR: 0.36, 95% CI 0.17–0.81, p = 0.01). Among Group 5, IDH-wildtype astrocytomas, the TERT-WT group had significantly better overall survival than the TERT-MUT group (HR: 0.48, 95% CI 0.27–0.87), p = 0.02). Thus, we present evidence that in certain WHO 2016 diagnostic groups, testing for TERT promoter mutations or ATRX alterations may provide additional useful prognostic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1016
Number of pages16
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • ATRX alteration
  • Brain tumor prognosis
  • Glioma classification
  • TERT promoter mutation
  • Telomere maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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