Analysis of p53 mutation and epidermal growth factor receptor amplification in recurrent gliomas with malignant progression

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1996 Jul;55(7):822-31. doi: 10.1097/00005072-199607000-00007.


Genomic alterations and expression of the p53 tumor suppressor gene and the epidermal factor receptor gene (EGFR) were investigated in 22 patients with primary World Health Organization (WHO) grade II gliomas that on recurrence had progressed to malignant gliomas of WHO grades III or IV. Mutations of the p53 gene (exons 5 to 8) were found in 12 of 22 primary tumors (10 of 13 astrocytomas, 1 of 7 oligodendrogliomas, 1 of 2 oligoastrocytomas). In each of these cases identical p53 mutations were present in the respective malignant recurrences. In all instances in which the p53 mutation was associated with p53 protein accumulation (10 of 12 cases) the percentage of p53 immunopositive tumor cells had increased from the primary to the recurrent tumor. None of the primary low-grade and none of the recurrent high-grade tumors (7 anaplastic astrocytomas, 10 anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, 4 anaplastic oligoastrocytomas, and 5 glioblastomas) showed evidence of EGFR gene amplification. Our results thus demonstrate p53 is mutated in a high fraction of low-grade astrocytomas with progression to anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas and that progression in such cases is frequently associated with an increase in the fraction of p53 immunopositive tumor cells. The general absence of EGFR amplification in our tumor series supports the hypothesis that the significance of p53 mutation and EGFR amplification may be different in glioblastomas that developed by progression from low-grade astrocytomas (secondary glioblastomas) compared to glioblastomas that developed rapidly in a de novo manner without a history of previous low-grade tumor (primary glioblastomas).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Probes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Molecular Probes
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • ErbB Receptors