Genetic alterations in glioma and medulloblastoma

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1991 Dec;10(4):289-99. doi: 10.1007/BF00554791.


Multiple genetic changes take place during tumor development and progression. These genetic changes result in inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and activation of proto-oncogenes. Frequent genetic changes observed in gliomas are losses of chromosomal regions on 9p, 10q, 13q, 17p and on 22. Loss of 10q is seen in more than 80% of the glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors suggesting the presence of a gene critical for GBM formation on this chromosome. Amplification of epidermal growth factor receptor gene and expression of platelet derived growth factor and fibroblast growth factor genes are also common among gliomas. The most common genetic abnormality found in medulloblastomas is loss of 17p. The C-myc gene is amplified in a few primary tumors, but the incidence of amplification is higher in medulloblastoma derived cell lines. These findings suggest that the same two genetic processes, gene amplification and regional chromosomal loss, which characterize other primitive childhood neuroectodermal tumors such as retinoblastoma and neuroblastoma are also important in medulloblastomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Gene Amplification
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Medulloblastoma / genetics*