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Expression and clinical significance of the proliferation marker minichromosome maintenance protein 2 (Mcm2) in diffuse astrocytomas WHO grade II

Tove Lind-Landström1, Rosilin K Varughese1, Stein Sundstrøm2 and Sverre H Torp13*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s and Women’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

2 Department of Oncology, St. Olavs Hospital, University Hospital of Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway

3 Department of Pathology and Medical Genetics, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, NO-7006, Norway

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:67  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-67

Published: 24 April 2013



The WHO classification system for astrocytomas is not considered optimal, mainly because of the subjective assessment of the histopathological features. Few prognostic variables have been found that stratify the risk of clinical progression in patients with grade II astrocytoma. For that reason there is a continuous search for biomarkers that can improve the histopathological diagnosis and prognostication of these tumours.


This study was designed to investigate the prognostic significance of the proliferative marker Mcm2 (minichromosome maintenance protein 2) in diffuse astrocytomas WHO grade II and correlate the findings with histopathology, mitoses, and Ki67/MIB-1 immunostaining.


61 patients with histologically verified grade II astrocytoma (WHO 2007) were investigated. Paraffin sections were immunostained with anti-Mcm2, and the Mcm2 proliferative index (PI) was determined as the percentage of immunoreactive tumour cell nuclei.


Mcm2 PI was not associated with any histopathological features but correlated significantly with mitotic count and Ki67/MIB-1 PI (p<0.05). In the survival analyses Mcm2 showed trends to poorer survival, however, statistical significance was not achieved in the univariate analyses (p>0.05).


In our hands Mcm2 immunostaining has no advantage over Ki67/MIB-1 in the evaluation of grade II astrocytomas. Larger studies are needed to fully clarify the prognostic role of this biomarker.

Virtual slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: webcite

Brain tumours; Diagnosis; Gliomas; Immunohistochemistry; Ki67/MIB-1; Prognosis; Survival