MIB-1 and p53 immunocytochemistry for differentiating pilocytic astrocytomas and astrocytomas from anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas in children and young adults

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Abstract

Aims:

To establish whether MIB-1 and p53 staining are useful for differentiating pilocytic astrocytomas and astrocytomas from anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas. This study was restricted to children and young adults under 30 years of age because of the differences in p53 mutations between paediatric and adult astrocytomas.

Methods and results:

Forty-five astrocytic tumours, including 18 pilocytic astrocytomas, 14 astrocytomas, four anaplastic astrocytomas and nine glioblastomas, from 45 children and young adults, between 1 and 29 years (mean 11 years) of age, were examined pathologically, and sections from paraffin-embedded blocks were used for MIB-1 and p53 immunostaining. The MIB-1 labelling index and the frequency and intensity of p53 staining in both the pilocytic astrocytoma and the astrocytoma group were significantly lower than in the anaplastic astrocytoma plus glioblastoma group (P < 0.001). In 11.1% (two of 18) of pilocytic astrocytomas and 42.9% (six of 14) of astrocytomas, immunoreactivity of either MIB-1 or p53 staining was of almost the same intensity as that of anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas. However, in these cases, results using both MIB-1 and p53 stain differed from those for anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas.

Conclusions:

MIB-1 and p53 co-staining is very useful for differentiating pilocytic astrocytomas and astrocytomas from anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas. However, MIB-1 or p53 staining alone cannot differentiate pilocytic astrocytomas and astrocytomas from anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas.

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