DOI: 10.1097/pai.0000000000001179 ISSN: 1541-2016

Analysis of Histomorphologic/Molecular Association and Immune Checkpoint Regulators in Epithelioid Glioblastoma and Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma: Are These Tumors Potential Candidates for Immune Checkpoint Blockade?

Swati Mahajan, Jyotsna Singh, Iman Dandapath, Prerana Jha, Sujata Chaturvedi, Arvind Ahuja, Minakshi Bhardwaj, Ravindra Saran, Ajay Garg, Mehar C. Sharma, Niveditha Manjunath, Ashish Suri, Chitra sarkar, Vaishali Suri
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Accurate diagnosis of Epithelioid glioblastoma (eGB) and pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) is sometimes challenging owing to overlapping histologic and genetic features. There are limited reports on the immune profile of these tumors. In this study, we assessed 21 PXA [15 PXA Grade 2 (PXAG2); 6 PXA Grade 3 (PXAG3)] and 14 eGB for their histopathological and molecular association. Further, their immune profile was compared with GB, IDH1 wild-type (wt) (n-18). Morphologically, PXAG2 mostly differed from eGB; however, it was occasionally difficult to differentiate PXAG3 from eGB due to their epithelioid pattern and less obvious degenerative features. PXAG2 showed predominantly diffuse, whereas variable positivity for epithelial and glial markers was seen in PXAG3 and eGB. All cases showed retained nuclear ATRX and INI-1. H3K27M or IDH1 mutation was seen in none. P53 mutation was more common in eGB, followed by PXAG3, and least common in PXAG2. BRAF V600E mutation was observed in 66.67% PXAG2, 33.33% PXAG3, and 50% eGB, with 100% concordance between immunohistochemistry (IHC) and sequencing. Thirty-six percent eGB, 33% PXAG3, and 61% PXAG2 harbored CDKN2A homozygous deletion. EGFR amplification was observed in 14% eGB and 66% of GB, IDH wt. PDL1 and CTLA-4 expression was higher in eGB (71.4% and 57.1%), PXAG3 (66.6% and100%), and PXAG2 (60% & 66.7%) as compared with GB, IDH wt (38.8% and 16.7%). Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were also observed in a majority of eGB and PXA (90% to 100%) in contrast to GB, IDH wt (66%). This analysis highlights the homogenous molecular and immune profile of eGB and PXA, suggesting the possibility that histologically and molecularly, these two entities represent 2 ends of a continuous spectrum with PXAG3 lying in between. Higher upregulation of PDL1, CTLA-4, and increased tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in these tumors as compared with GB, IDH wt suggests potential candidature for immunotherapy.

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