Twenty nine patients with gliomas were investigated for loss of heterozygosity for 40 DNA polymorphisms in tumour DNA, particularly concentrating on those mapping to chromosomes 10 and 17. Eight of 18 grade IV gliomas showed loss of sequences from chromosomes 10, 17, or both. The data suggested total loss of one copy of chromosome 10, but there were interstitial deletions of the short arm of chromosome 17 in three of five tumours. Heterogeneous interstitial deletions of chromosome 17 were also found in two lower grade astrocytomas and one benign oligodendroglioma. The striking finding of this study was that patients with high grade gliomas whose tumours exhibited loss of heterozygosity for chromosomes 10, 17, or both survived significantly longer after surgery (median 17.4 months) than those whose tumours did not show loss of these chromosomes (median 6.7 months). These findings suggest that there is a subset of particularly aggressive high grade gliomas with no currently known molecular genetic abnormalities.
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