Gliomas classified by tumor markers were characterized by distinct mechanisms of pathogenesis, ages at onset, overall survival, and associations with germline variants, a new study published online ahead of print in The New England Journal of Medicine has shown.

For the study, researchers analyzed 1,087 gliomas as positive or negative for mutations in the TERT promoter, mutations in IDH, and codeletion of chromosome arms 1p and 19q, and classified them into five primary molecular groups. Researchers then compared associations between those groups and known glioma germline variants.

Gliomas were classified as being triple-positive, having TERT and IDH mutations, having only IDH mutations, having only TERT mutations, and being triple-negative.

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Results showed that the average age at the time of diagnosis was lowest among those who had only IDH mutations. Age at onset was highest among patients who had gliomas with only TERT mutations.

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Researchers found that the molecular groups were independently associated with overall survival among those with grade II or III gliomas, but not grade IV gliomas. The study also demonstrated that the molecular groups were associated with specific germline variants.

The findings may ultimately better inform patient management and treatment decisions of patients with gliomas.


  1. Eckel-Passow JE, Lachance DH, Molinaro AM, et al. Glioma groups based on 1p/19q, IDH, and TERT promoter mutations in tumors. N Engl J Med. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1407279.