DOI 10.5414/NP300646

Clinical Neuropathology, Volume 32 - May/June (148 - 158)

Clinical Neuropathology Practice Guide 3-2013: levels of evidence and clinical utility of prognostic and predictive candidate brain tumor biomarkers

Anna S. Berghoff1, 5, Harald Stefanits2, 5, Adelheid Woehrer1, 5, Harald Heinzl3, 5, Matthias Preusser4, 5, Johannes A. Hainfellner1, 5
1 Institute of Neurology, 2 Department of Neurosurgery, 3 Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, Intelligent Systems, 4 Department of Medicine I, 5 Comprehensive Cancer Center CNS Unit, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Abstract

A large number of potential tissue biomarkers has been proposed for brain tumors. However, hardly any have been adopted for routine clinical use, so far. For most candidate biomarkers substantial controversy exists with regard to their usefulness in clinical practice. The multidisciplinary neurooncology taskforce of the Vienna Comprehensive Cancer Center Central Nervous System Unit (CCC-CNS) addressed this issue and elaborated a four-tiered levels-of-evidence system for assessing analytical performance (reliability of test result) and clinical performance (prognostic or predictive) based on consensually defined criteria. The taskforce also consensually agreed that only biomarker candidates should be considered as ready for clinical use, which meet defined quality standards for both, analytical and clinical performance. Applying this levels-of-evidence system to MGMT, IDH1, 1p19q, Ki67, MYCC, MYCN and β-catenin, only immunohistochemical IDH1 mutation testing in patients with diffuse gliomas is supported by sufficient evidence in order to be unequivocally qualified for clinical use. For the other candidate biomarkers lack of published evidence of sufficiently high analytical test performance and, in some cases, also of clinical performance limits evidence-based confirmation of their clinical utility. For most of the markers, no common standard of laboratory testing exists. We conclude that, at present, there is a strong need for studies that specifically address the analytical performance of candidate brain tumor biomarkers. In addition, standardization of laboratory testing is needed. We aim to regularly challenge and update the present classification in order to systematically clarify the current translational status of candidate brain tumor biomarkers and to identify specific research needs for accelerating the translational pace.

Author Details

Authors

  • Anna S. Berghoff1
  • 5
  • Harald Stefanits2
  • 5
  • Adelheid Woehrer1
  • 5
  • Harald Heinzl3
  • 5
  • Matthias Preusser4
  • 5
  • Johannes A. Hainfellner1
  • 5

Departments

  • 1 Institute of Neurology,
  • 2 Department of Neurosurgery,
  • 3 Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, Intelligent Systems,
  • 4 Department of Medicine I,
  • 5 Comprehensive Cancer Center CNS Unit, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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