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Genomic profiling provides much-needed prognostic data in glioma

Monday, August 17, 2015
Photo of Dr Fine Low-grade gliomas may be classified into three distinct prognostic categories based on genomic data. This conclusion came from a genomic and molecular analysis presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), a gathering of nearly 30,000 oncology professionals in Chicago on June 2, 2015,1 and published in Acta Neuropathology.2. 
Howard Fine, M.D., commented on work by Michael Weller, chair of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, and his colleagues.
“There is a paucity of biologic and clinical trial data on low-grade gliomas,” Fine said.
This has made it difficult for clinicians to counsel patients and select treatment options.To overcome the limitations of the current classification system, clinicians and clinical investigators are increasingly turning to molecular markers such as the expression of certain mutations or genomic patterns. They hope that more accurate classifications would provide more accurate prognostic information, help guide treatment choices, and lead to improved clinical trials.
Fine agreed that the molecular low-grade glioma typing data from Weller and other trials presented at ASCO would likely lead to a new classification system for gliomas in the near future and will have a lasting impact on the treatment of gliomas.
“What we [have] today is a better understanding of the genetic and molecular biology of the disease,” he says. “Genotyping each individual patient is going to be critical to targeted therapy.”
According to Fine, the Weller’s data also provide valuable prognostic information for patients with low-grade gliomas, showing that prolonged survival is possible in two of the three genomic groups, but unlikely in the third.