Author(s): Song X, Andrew Allen R, Terence Dunn S, Fung KM, Farmer P
Glioblastoma with primitive neuroectodermal tumor-like components (GBM-PNET), a rare variant of glioblastoma, poses both diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Ten patients with GBM-PNET were investigated with a median age of 51.5 years and the male to female ratio of 4:1. The majority of patients (7 out of 10) showed ring-enhancing lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is classic for GBMs. Restricted diffusion was noted in 7 cases where diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) was performed, which correlates with the presence of PNET-like components. CD56 and vimentin immunostaining made the diagnosis of GBM-PNET much easier. Vimentin strongly and diffusely highlighted the astrocytic components and was negative in PNET-like components, while CD56 was strongly and diffusely positive in both astrocytic and PNET-like components. Seven out of 9 cases were positive for p53 in both astrocytic and PNET-like components. Two out of 8 cases harbored isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) R132H mutation, while IDH2 R172 mutations were not identified. Three out of 10 patients had a median survival time of 17 months while the two patients, whose tumor carried IDH1 mutation, were still alive after 15 and 31 months of follow-up. Compared to primary GBMs, GBM-PNETs might have a better prognosis. Further large scale studies are necessary to confirm this observation.