Utility of copy number variants in the classification of intracranial ependymoma

Michael Evenson, Chunyu Cai, Vishwanathan Hucthagowder, Samantha McNulty, Julie Neidich, Shashikant Kulkarni, Sonika Dahiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ependymomas are neuroepithelial tumors that differentiate along the ependymal cell lineage, a lining of the ventricles of the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord. They are rare in adults, but account for around 9% of brain tumors in children, where they usually have an aggressive course. Efficient stratification could lead to improved care but remains a challenge even in the genomic era. Recent studies proposed a multivariate classification system based on tumor location, age, and broad genomic findings like global patterns of methylation and copy number variants (CNVs). This system shows improved prognostic utility, but is relatively impractical in the routine clinical setting because it necessitates multiple diagnostic tests. We analyzed 13 intracranial grade II and III ependymoma specimens on a DNA microarray to identify discrete CNVs that could support the existing classification. The loss of chr22 and the gain of 5p15.31 were common throughout our cohort (6 and 11 cases, respectively). Other CNVs correlated well with the previously proposed classification system. For example, gains of chr20 were unique to PF-EPN-B tumors of the posterior fossa and may differentiate them from PF-EPN-A. Given the ease of detecting CNVs using multiple, clinically validated methods, these CNVs should be further studied to confirm their diagnostic and prognostic utility, for incorporation into clinical testing algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Genetics
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Anaplastic ependymoma
  • Brain tumors
  • Copy number variation
  • Ependymoma
  • Molecular classification
  • Whole genome


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