Differential gene expression in classic giant cell tumours of bone: Tenascin C as biological risk factor for local relapses and metastases

Laura Pazzaglia, Amalia Conti, Antonella Chiechi, Chiara Novello, Giovanna Magagnoli, Annalisa Astolfi, Andrea Pession, Tibor Krenacs, Marco Alberghini, Piero Picci, Maria Serena Benassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To identify candidate prognostic biological markers useful in selecting high-risk patients with classic primary giant cell tumours (GCT). GCT specimens with different behaviour associated with an increased risk of local and/or distant relapses were studied. Methods and results: Screening mRNA microarray analysis followed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry on tissue microarray sections was used to validate the prognostic role of differentially expressed genes on a larger series by statistical analysis tests. Global gene expression profiling identified 109 differentially expressed genes according to prognosis. A correlation was found between mRNA levels and clinical outcome identifying Tenascin C (TNC) as the most significant prognostic biological marker. By means of backward Wald logistic regression, TNC overexpression defined an eightfold increased risk for metastasis and fourfold for local recurrence. At the protein level, TNC immunoreactivity resulted in a significant difference in the disease-free survival probability curves, providing a stratification for GCT patients, useful for predicting relapse. Conclusions: Our study provides important data for the selection of biomarkers with a significant clinical impact and suggests the importance of TNC expression in identifying GCT patients at a higher risk of relapse for closer follow-up and adjuvant medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • gene expression profile
  • giant cell tumour
  • real-time PCR
  • Tenascin C
  • tissue microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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