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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 123-128

Molecular insights turning game for management of ependymoma: A review of literature

Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rahul Krishnatry
Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ctm.ctm_40_17

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Molecular biology of ependymoma is being extensively studied in recent years, providing insights into newer therapeutic strategies. The different anatomic subgroups of ependymoma, namely supratentorial, posterior fossa (PF), and spinal, pose entirely different clinical behavior and prognosis. Recently, nine molecular subgroups of ependymoma have been identified, one of which has been incorporated into the WHO classification. Further understanding of the molecular biology of ependymoma is vital to expand its clinical utility. Here, we performed a review of the literature on the molecular biology of ependymoma. Therapeutic avenues include: (1) targeted agents against – (a) chromothripsis-induced nuclear factor-kappa beta signaling, (b) gene silencing by DNA methylation, (c) increased telomerase activity, and (d) microRNA and (2) de-escalating treatment in good prognostic subgroup such as PFB. The prognostic value of different chromosomal gain or loss is being better understood and may serve as prognostic signatures in future. Faster adoption of molecular classification into clinical practice requires simpler identification techniques using immunohistochemical surrogates for molecular subgroups, for example, cell adhesion molecule L1 for v-rel reticuloendotheliosis viral oncogene homolog A (RELA) fusion, laminin subunit alpha 2, tenascin-C, and neural epidermal growth factor-like 2 for PFA and PFB. Identification of poor prognostic markers such as RELA fusion and PFA has necessitated future research impetus to be directed to find more efficacious treatment approach in these groups.

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