Immunohistochemical markers for prognosis of average-risk pediatric medulloblastomas. The effect of apoptotic index, TrkC, and c-myc expression

J Neurooncol. 2002 Jul;58(3):271-9. doi: 10.1023/a:1016226319068.


Medulloblastomas (MB) are the most common central nervous system malignancies in children. Numerous publications describe certain efforts to identify predictive value of various patterns of MB pathology and immunohistochemistry but received data appear to be controversial. In the present study, the apoptotic index (AI) and immunoexpression of TrkC, and c-myc proteins were investigated in biopsy samples from 68 MB with an average clinical risk to determine their prognostic utility in this tumor category. The number of cases with AI > 1.5% was significantly greater in the group of tumors in patients with recurrent MB and the mean AI was significantly higher in this group -4.7% vs. 1.1%. Furthermore, the number of tumors with AI > 1.5% was greater in the group of tumors in deceased patients and the mean Al was also higher in this group -4.6% vs. 1.2%. Immunoreactivity of the c-myc and TrkC did not show any differences between groups of patients with various clinical outcomes. A close association between Al as a continuous variable and the progression-free and overall survival was found. We found no any differences in survival times for c-myc and TrkC immunoreactivity. Multivariate revealed analysis that AI is a single significant prognostic factor for MB survival. Perhaps, investigations of c-myc and TrkC mRNA levels should be useful for clinical purposes, but in order to introduce these biomolecular markers in clinical protocols its distinct prognostic significance needs to be proved by prospective studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / metabolism*
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Medulloblastoma / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Receptor, trkC / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Receptor, trkC