Purpose: Promoter methylation of the O⁶-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) gene is widely recognized as an important predictive factor in the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM) patients with temozolomide. However, data regarding the methylation status of the MGMT promoter in pediatric GBM are yet to be elucidated.
Methods: Nineteen tissue samples of pediatric GBM were evaluated for the MGMT promoter methylation status using methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA). Methylation status was also evaluated using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) for 17 of the 19 patients. The correlation between MGMT promoter methylation and clinical outcome was assessed.
Results: Three of the 19 patients (16%) showed methylation of the MGMT promoter, according to MS-MLPA, as did 1 of the 17 (6%), according to MSP. The methylation status did not seem to have a definite effect on clinical outcome.
Conclusions: Pediatric GBMs rarely have methylated MGMT promoters. With a better clinical outcome and lower methylation rate than their adult counterparts, it may be suggested that, for pediatric GBM, MGMT promoter methylation does not play a significant role as a prognostic factor.