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      The 2007 WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System

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          The fourth edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of tumours of the central nervous system, published in 2007, lists several new entities, including angiocentric glioma, papillary glioneuronal tumour, rosette-forming glioneuronal tumour of the fourth ventricle, papillary tumour of the pineal region, pituicytoma and spindle cell oncocytoma of the adenohypophysis. Histological variants were added if there was evidence of a different age distribution, location, genetic profile or clinical behaviour; these included pilomyxoid astrocytoma, anaplastic medulloblastoma and medulloblastoma with extensive nodularity. The WHO grading scheme and the sections on genetic profiles were updated and the rhabdoid tumour predisposition syndrome was added to the list of familial tumour syndromes typically involving the nervous system. As in the previous, 2000 edition of the WHO ‘Blue Book’, the classification is accompanied by a concise commentary on clinico-pathological characteristics of each tumour type. The 2007 WHO classification is based on the consensus of an international Working Group of 25 pathologists and geneticists, as well as contributions from more than 70 international experts overall, and is presented as the standard for the definition of brain tumours to the clinical oncology and cancer research communities world-wide.

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          Adjuvant procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine improves progression-free survival but not overall survival in newly diagnosed anaplastic oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas: a randomized European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer phase III trial.

          Anaplastic oligodendrogliomas are more responsive to chemotherapy than high-grade astrocytomas. We investigated, in a multicenter randomized controlled trial, whether adjuvant procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy improves overall survival (OS) in newly diagnosed patients with anaplastic oligodendrogliomas or anaplastic oligoastrocytomas. The primary end point of the study was OS; secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and toxicity. Patients were randomly assigned to either 59.4 Gy of radiotherapy (RT) in 33 fractions only or to the same RT followed by six cycles of standard PCV chemotherapy (RT/PCV). 1p and 19q deletions were assessed with fluorescent in situ hybridization. A total of 368 patients were included. The median follow-up time was 60 months, and 59% of patients have died. In the RT arm, 82% of patients with tumor progression received chemotherapy. In 38% of patients in the RT/PCV arm, adjuvant PCV was discontinued for toxicity. OS time after RT/PCV was 40.3 months compared with 30.6 months after RT only (P = .23). RT/PCV increased PFS time compared with RT only (23 v 13.2 months, respectively; P = .0018). Twenty-five percent of patients were diagnosed with combined 1p/19q loss; 74% of this subgroup was still alive after 60 months. RT/PCV did not improve survival in the subgroup of patients with 1p/19q loss. Adjuvant PCV chemotherapy does not prolong OS but does increase PFS in anaplastic oligodendroglioma. Combined loss of 1p/19q identifies a favorable subgroup of oligodendroglial tumors. No genetic subgroup could be identified that benefited with respect to OS from adjuvant PCV.
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            The New WHO Classification of Brain Tumours

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              The new WHO classification of brain tumours.

              The new edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) book on 'Histological Typing of Tumours of the Central Nervous System' reflects the progress in brain tumour classification which has been achieved since publication of the first edition in 1979. Several new tumour entities have been added, including the pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, central neurocytoma, the infantile desmoplastic astrocytoma/ganglioglioma, and the dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour. The list of histological variants has also been expanded. In line with recent morphological and molecular data on glioma progression, the glioblastoma is now grouped together with astrocytic tumours. The classification of childhood tumours has been largely retained, the diagnosis primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) only being recommended as a generic term for cerebellar medulloblastomas and neoplasms that are histologically indistinguishable from medulloblastoma but located in the CNS at sites other than the cerebellum. The WHO grading scheme was revised and adapted to new entities but its use, as before, remains optional.

                Author and article information

                Acta Neuropathol
                Acta Neuropathologica
                Springer-Verlag (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                6 July 2007
                August 2007
                : 114
                : 2
                : 97-109
                [1 ]Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114 USA
                [2 ]International Agency for Research on Cancer, 69008 Lyon, France
                [3 ]German Cancer Research Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
                [4 ]Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, UCSD, La Jolla, CA 92093-0660 USA
                [5 ]Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21210 USA
                [6 ]East Pathology and Neuropathology Center, Neurological and Neurosurgical Hospital, Inserm U842, 69003 Lyon, France
                [7 ]Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905 USA
                [8 ]Department of Pathology, University Hospital, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
                © Springer-Verlag 2007
                : 21 May 2007
                : 21 May 2007
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                © Springer-Verlag 2007



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