Background: The role of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene promoter mutations (pTERT) in atypical and anaplastic meningiomas remains controversial. This study aimed to evaluate their impact on the histologic diagnosis and prognosis in a retrospective series of 74 patients with atypical and anaplastic meningioma, including disease progression and relapse. A supplementary panel of 21 benign tumours was used as a control cohort.
Materials and Methods: The mutation rate of the pTERT gene was assessed by Sanger sequencing. ATRX protein expression was detected by immunohistochemistry. The phenotypic and genotypic intra-tumour heterogeneity was studied in a sub-group of 12 cases using a Molecular Machines & Industries (MMI) CellCut laser microdissection (LMD) system.
Results: pTERT mutations were detected in 12/74 (17.6%) malignant meningiomas. The mutation rate was significantly higher in anaplastic meningiomas (7/23, 30.4%) compared to atypical tumours (5/48, 10.4%) (p = 0.0443). In contrast, the mutation rate was < 5% in benign tumours. All pTERT mutant cases retained nuclear ATRX immunoreactivity. pTERT mutations were significantly associated with the histologic grade (p = 0.0443) and were adverse prognostic factors for anaplastic tumours (p = 0.06).
Conclusion: the authors reported on the pTERT mutation spectrum in malignant meningiomas, supporting their use in the prognostic classification.
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