Validation of tumor markers in central nervous system germ cell tumors by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues

Dowhan Kim, Da Hye Lee, Junjeong Choi, Kyu Won Shim, Se Hoon Kim

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The therapeutic protocols for treatment of germinomas and non-germinomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCTs) are completely different, so it is important to distinguish pure germinomas from NGGCTs. As it can be difficult to diagnose by morphology alone, immunohistochemistry (IHC) has been widely used as an ancillary test to improve diagnostic accuracy. However, IHC has limitations due to the misinterpretation of results or the aberrant loss of immunoreactivity. However, real-time RT-PCR has certain advantages over IHC, including its quantitative nature. The aim of our study was to evaluate the usefulness of real-time RT-PCR on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks for the diagnosis of germ cell tumors of the central nervous system. We selected eight markers of germ cell tumors using a literature search, and validated them using real-time RT-PCR. Among them, POU5F1, NANOG and TGFB2 were statistically significant (P=0.05) in multiple comparisons (MANOVA) of three groups (pure germinomas, mature teratomas and malignant germ cell tumors). Two-group (pure germinomas and NGGCTs) discriminant analysis achieved a 70.0% success rate in cross-validation. We concluded that real-time RT-PCR using FFPE tissue has adequate validating power comparable to IHC in the diagnosis of central nervous system germ cell tumors; therefore, when IHC is not available, not conclusive or not informative, RT-PCR is a potential alternative to a repeat biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Medicine Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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