The oncofetal protein IMP3: A novel grading tool and predictor of poor clinical outcome in human gliomas

Alessandro Del Gobbo, Valentina Vaira, Lucia Ferrari, Carlo Patriarca, Andrea Di Cristofori, Dario Ricca, Manuela Caroli, Paolo Rampini, Silvano Bosari, Stefano Ferrero

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Morphologic criteria illustrated in WHO guidelines are the most significant prognostic factor in human gliomas, but novel biomarkers are needed to identify patients with a poorer outcome. The present study examined the expression of the oncofetal protein IMP3 in a series of 135 patients affected by high-grade (grade III and IV) gliomas, correlating the results with proliferative activity, molecular parameters, and clinical and follow-up data. Overall, IMP3 expression was higher in glioblastomas (68%) than in grade III tumors (20%, P <0.0001), and IMP3-positive high-grade gliomas showed a shorter overall and disease-free survival than negative ones (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.006, resp.). IMP3 expression was significantly associated with the absence of mutations of IDH1 gene (P = 0.0001) and with the unmethylated phenotype of MGMT in high-grade gliomas (P = 0.004). High Ki67 levels were correlated with better prognosis in glioblastomas but IMP3 expression was not correlated with the proliferation index. These findings confirm the role of IMP3 as a marker of poor outcome, also in consideration of its association with IDH1 wild-type phenotype and MGMT unmethylated status. The data suggest that IMP3 staining could identify a subgroup of patients with poor prognosis and at risk of recurrence in high-grade gliomas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number413897
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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