Clinicopathologic study of 85 similarly treated patients with anaplastic astrocytic tumors: An analysis of DNA content (Ploidy), cellular proliferation, and p53 expression

Arie Perry, Robert B. Jenkins, Judith R. O'Fallon, Paul L. Schaefer, David W. Kimmel, Michelle R. Mahoney, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Sandra M. Smith, Eunice M. Hill, Thomas J. Sebo, Ralph Levitt, James Krook, Loren K. Tschetter, Roscoe F. Morton, Jan C. Buckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The biologic behavior of anaplastic (World Health Organization Grade III) astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas is highly variable, ranging from rapid progression to prolonged survival. It is difficult to predict the outcome of an individual patient based on morphology alone. METHODS. To determine the prognostic value of commonly used clinicopathologic markers, we reviewed our experience with 85 similarly treated patients enrolled in 3 North Central Cancer Treatment Group high grade glioma protocols. The pathology was comprised exclusively of primary anaplastic astrocytic tumors (66 astrocytomas and 19 oligoastrocytomas). Variables examined included patient age, morphologic type, preoperative performance score, extent of surgery, solitary versus multiple mitoses, DNA flow cytometric and image morphometric parameters, and expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, MIB-1, and p53 expression. RESULTS. The study was comprised of 48 men and 37 women ranging in age from 14-79 years (median age, 47 years). Overall survival ranged from <1 month to >12 years (median, 21.6 months). Statistical analyses revealed that age accounted for the majority of this extensive variability in survival. The median survival times were 65.5 months, 22.1 months, and 4.4 months, respectively, for the groups <40 years, 40-59 years, and ≥60 years, respectively (P < 0.0001). On univariate analyses, aneuploidy by flow cytometry and a low performance score also predicted a better survival (P values of 0.04 and 0.009, respectively). Statistical trends predicting a better survival were observed for patients with a solitary mitosis and p53 immunopositivity. However, only patient age remained significant in multivariate models. CONCLUSIONS. In a small but relatively uniformly treated cohort of patients with anaplastic astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas, patient age was associated strongly and inversely with overall survival. Once patient age was taken into account, the clinical and pathologic markers tested appeared to be of limited prognostic value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-683
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1999


  • Astrocytoma
  • Flow cytometry
  • Glioma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67
  • Prognosis
  • Proliferating cell nuclear antigen
  • Proliferation
  • p53 protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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