Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 expression is an independent prognostic factor in pediatric pilocytic and pilomyxoid astrocytoma

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2013 May;72(5):442-9. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e31829023dd.


Prognostic factors in pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs) and pilomyxoid astrocytomas (PMAs) include extent of resection, location, and age, but no molecular markers have been established. Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3, IGF2BP3) is predictive of an unfavorable prognosis in other tumors, including high-grade astrocytomas, but its role in PA/PMA is unknown. This study aimed to determine the expression and prognostic value of IMP3 in pediatric PA/PMAs. Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 protein expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in 77 pediatric PAs (n = 70) and PMAs (n = 7) and scored on a subjective scale. Strong diffuse staining for IMP3 was observed in 31% (24 of 77) of tumors and associated with a shorter progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 2.63; p = 0.008). This cohort confirmed previously identified prognostic factors, including extent of resection, age, and tumor location. Currently, only clinical factors are weighed to stratify risk for patients and to identify those who should receive further therapy. Multivariate analyses identified IMP3 expression as an independent prognostic factor when combined with high-/low-risk stratification (hazard ratio, 2.45; p = 0.016). High IMP3, as assessed by immunohistochemistry, has potential use as an additional predictor of poor prognosis in pediatric PA/PMAs and warrants evaluation in larger cohorts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Astrocytoma / genetics
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • IGF2BP3 protein, human
  • RNA-Binding Proteins