Forty-nine primary retinoblastoma (Rb) tumors were analyzed by the use of comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), and clinical/histological correlations were performed. Adverse histological factors were present in 13 patients. Chromosomal imbalance was a frequent phenomenon, seen in 96% of the tumors. Gain of 6p represented the most frequent event (69% of the tumors), whereas +1q was observed in 57%, confirming that these abnormalities are key secondary events in retinoblastoma tumor progression. Loss of 13q and 16 was significantly associated with tumors displaying adverse histo-prognostic factors, whereas -16q was significantly associated with tumors without adverse features. In three patients who developed an extra-ocular relapse, the tumors showed -13q and 2/3 had -5q, suggesting that these abnormalities may be associated with metastasis. Children >or= 36 months of age at enucleation tended to have more CGH abnormalities per tumor than children < 12 months (median numbers 11 vs. 3). In addition, +1q, +13q, -16, and -16q were more frequent in children with an older age at enucleation. Identical CGH changes were found in both tumors from one patient with bilateral tumors, suggesting a common origin. It is possible that tumors displaying loss of 13q and 5q indicate those patients who may suffer an adverse outcome and who would require alternative or more intensive therapy. CGH analysis on larger cohorts and in prospective clinical trials will be invaluable in determining whether a genetic classification of retinoblastoma represents a reliable measure of prognosis.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.