Using comparative genomic hybridisation, we have analysed genetic imbalance in a series of 86 ependymomas from children and adults. Tumours were derived from intracranial and spinal sites, and classified histologically as classic, anaplastic or myxopapillary. Ependymomas showing a balanced profile were significantly (P<0.0005) more frequent in children than adults. Profiles suggesting intermediate ploidy were common (44% of all tumours), and found more often (P<0.0005) in tumours from adults and the spinal region. Loss of 22q was the most common specific abnormality, occurring in 50% of spinal (medullary) ependymomas and 26% of tumours overall. Genetic profiles combining loss of 22q with other specific abnormalities--gain of 1q, loss of 6q, loss of 10q/10, loss of 13, loss of 14q/14--varied according to site and histology. In particular, we showed that classic ependymomas from within the cranium and spine have distinct genetic profiles. Classic and anaplastic ependymomas with gain of 1q tended to occur in the posterior fossa of children and to behave aggressively. Our extensive data on ependymomas demonstrate significant associations between genetic aberrations and clinicopathological variables, and represent a starting point for further biological and clinical studies.
Copyright 2002 Cancer Research UK