Purpose: To improve stratification of risk-adapted treatment for non-metastatic (M0), standard-risk medulloblastoma patients by prospective evaluation of biomarkers of reported biological or prognostic significance, alongside clinico-pathological variables, within the multi-center HIT-SIOP-PNET4 trial.
Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissues were collected from 338 M0 patients (>4.0 years at diagnosis) for pathology review and assessment of the WNT subgroup (MBWNT) and genomic copy-number defects (chromosome 17, MYC/MYCN, 9q22 (PTCH1) and DNA ploidy). Clinical characteristics were reviewed centrally.
Results: The favorable prognosis of MBWNT was confirmed, however better outcomes were observed for non-MBWNT tumors in this clinical risk-defined cohort compared to previous disease-wide clinical trials. Chromosome 17p/q defects were heterogeneous when assessed at the cellular copy-number level, and predicted poor prognosis when they occurred against a diploid (ch17(im)/diploid(cen)), but not polyploid, genetic background. These factors, together with post-surgical tumor residuum (R+) and radiotherapy delay, were supported as independent prognostic markers in multivariate testing. Notably, MYC and MYCN amplification were not associated with adverse outcome. In cross-validated survival models derived for the clinical standard-risk (M0/R0) disease group, (ch17(im)/diploid(cen); 14% of patients) predicted high disease-risk, while the outcomes of patients without (ch17(im)/diploid(cen)) did not differ significantly from MBWNT, allowing re-classification of 86% as favorable-risk.
Conclusion: Biomarkers, established previously in disease-wide studies, behave differently in clinically-defined standard-risk disease. Distinct biomarkers are required to assess disease-risk in this group, and define improved risk-stratification models. Routine testing for specific patterns of chromosome 17 imbalance at the cellular level, and MBWNT, provides a strong basis for incorporation into future trials.