Background: Medulloblastoma (MB) comprises of four molecular subtypes, Sonic hedgehog (SHH), Wingless (WNT), Groups 3 and 4. WNT-subtype MBs were found to arise from midline of the brainstem occupying the fourth ventricle while SHH-subtype occupied the cerebellar hemisphere in a small subset of patients.
Procedure: We tested this hypothesis in a large cohort of pediatric MBs comprising of all four molecular subtypes.
Results: We validated in the first comprehensive analysis of tumor location of 60 human MBs representative of the four molecular subtypes, that hemispheric tumors are significantly associated with SHH-subtype MBs while midline tumors with WNT-subtype, Group 3 and 4 MBs (P < 0.001). Nearly half of SHH-subtype MBs were midline.
Conclusions: Tumor location should not be generalized to MB subtypes. SHH-subtype MBs are not exclusively hemispheric and hemispheric MBs are not always SHH-activated. It is imperative to identify subtypes in conjunction with tumor location when exploring currently available targeted therapy.
Keywords: medulloblastoma; molecular subtypes; pediatric; tumor location.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.