Infographic: Molecular Classification of Gliomas

A Revolution in Brain Tumor Diagnosis

What are gliomas?

Glioma is a type of tumor that occurs in the brain and/or spinal cord that begins in the glial cells that surround nerve cells.

Glioma can affect your brain function and be life-threatening depending on their location and rate of growth. Approximately 18,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a glioma each year.

Taking diagnosis from the cellular to the molecular level for personalized treatment.

Researchers have discovered through genetic testing of the tumor, they can accurately identify the sub-type of glioma. This testing:

  • Helps to inform personalized treatment.
  • Accurately categorizes 96% of gliomas.

Traditional testing:

  • A glioma brain tumor diagnosis used to require and was limited to looking at cells under a microscope (after diagnostic imaging or surgery).
  • This method led to inconsistent diagnosis and a one size fits all treatment plan.

Molecular/genetic testing:

  • Offers improved diagnosis and treatment that is tailored to each tumor sub-type, leading to improved outcomes.

How it works.

Tests look for three specific mutations in the patient's DNA.

  • 1p/19q codeletion: This is associated with increased tumor sensitivity to chemotherapy.
  • IDH mutation: Associated with improved prognosis.
  • TERT mutation: Necessary tumor formation in some organs; like brain.

Depending on the combination of mutations, doctors can place a patient in one of 5 groups.

  • All three mutations present
  • TERT and IDH mutations present
  • Only IDH mutation present
  • Only TERT mutation present
  • No mutations present

Choose the treatment that offers the best possible prognosis for each patient.

How it benefits the patient.

  • Better neurological outcomes
  • Improved understanding of prognosis
  • Proper treatment selection

Treatment options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy

Source: "Glioma groups based on 1p/19q, IDH, and TERT promoter mutations in tumors," New England Journal of Medicine (June 2015), Mayo Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco; CBTRUS Statistical Report: Primary Brain and Other Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2009-2013.