Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the cerebral hemispheres in two siblings with TP53 germline mutation

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1998 Feb;57(2):179-87. doi: 10.1097/00005072-199802000-00009.


AWe report on two siblings (brother and sister) who developed cerebral PNETs at the age of 5 years and 6 months, respectively. Both children were treated by operation followed by polychemotherapy. The brother also received cranio-spinal irradiation. Nevertheless, the children died about 12 months and 24 months post-operatively due to extensive cerebral tumor recurrences. Shortly after having lost both of her children, the mother developed an intra-abdominal tumor, which was resected and histologically diagnosed as ovarian carcinoma. Because of this unusual familial clustering of tumors and a positive history of brain tumors and other cancers in several maternal relatives, we analyzed DNA isolated from both PNETs and the ovarian carcinoma as well as constitutional (leukocyte) DNA from the whole family for mutation of the TP53 tumor suppressor gene. This analysis revealed that all tumors were homozygous for a missense mutation at codon 213 (CGA => TGG) resulting in an amino acid exchange from arginine to tryptophane. The same mutation was present in one TP53 allele in the constitutional DNA of the mother and the children, indicating that the mother had transmitted a TP53 germline mutation to both of her children. Analysis of loss of heterozygosity at microsatellite markers from 17p confirmed deletion of the paternal (wild-type) allele in both PNETs. Further investigation of the PNETs by comparative genomic hybridization revealed multiple chromosomal abnormalities. Interestingly, some genomic changes were common to both PNETs, while many others were not, a finding suggesting substantial genomic instability, probably as a consequence of p53 inactivation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosome Disorders*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Codon
  • Female
  • Genes, p53*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / genetics*
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / pathology*
  • Nuclear Family
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pedigree
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Codon
  • Genetic Markers