The Genetic Architecture of Gliomagenesis-Genetic Risk Variants Linked to Specific Molecular Subtypes

Cancers (Basel). 2019 Dec 12;11(12):2001. doi: 10.3390/cancers11122001.


Genome-wide association studies have identified 25 germline genetic loci that increase the risk of glioma. The somatic tumor molecular alterations, including IDH-mutation status and 1p/19q co-deletion, have been included into the WHO 2016 classification system for glioma. To investigate how the germline genetic risk variants correlate with the somatic molecular subtypes put forward by WHO, we performed a meta-analysis that combined findings from 330 Swedish cases and 876 controls with two other recent studies. In total, 5,103 cases and 10,915 controls were included. Three categories of associations were found. First, variants in TERT and TP53 were associated with increased risk of all glioma subtypes. Second, variants in CDKN2B-AS1, EGFR, and RTEL1 were associated with IDH-wildtype glioma. Third, variants in CCDC26 (the 8q24 locus), C2orf80 (close to IDH), LRIG1, PHLDB1, ETFA, MAML2 and ZBTB16 were associated with IDH-mutant glioma. We therefore propose three etiopathological pathways in gliomagenesis based on germline variants for future guidance of diagnosis and potential functional targets for therapies. Future prospective clinical trials of patients with suspicion of glioma diagnoses, using the genetic variants as biomarkers, are necessary to disentangle how strongly they can predict glioma diagnosis.

Keywords: 1p/19q co-deletion; IDH mutant; etiopathogenesis; genotype phenotype; glioma; gliomagenesis.

Publication types

  • Review