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A prognostic analysis of pediatrics central nervous system small cell tumors: evaluation of EGFR family gene amplification and overexpression

Weidong Liu13, Shigang Zhang1, Liyong Zhang1, Qingke Cui1, Jiyue Wang1, Ting Gui2 and Qi Pang3*

Author Affiliations

1 Neurosurgical Department, Liaocheng People’s Hospital, Liaocheng, Shandong Province, China

2 The Pathology Department, the medical school, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

3 The Neurosurgical Department, the Affiliated Provincial Hospital, Shandong University, 324# Jingwu Weiqi Road, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2014, 9:132  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-132

Published: 1 July 2014



Central nervous system (CNS) tumors are the most common solid tumors that occur in children, however there were few big-data follow-up analysis published in China. Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family members was reported on glioblastoma (GBM) and medulloblastoma (MB) before. However, the correlation between EGFR family members expression with prognosis of MB, supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) and small cell GBM is unclear in Chinese children.


A retrospective and survival analysis was performed on children (age ≤ 16 years) diagnosed as CNS primary small cell tumors in the Affiliated Provincial Hospital, Shandong University from 2000 to 2012, including MB (n = 44), PNET (n = 8) and small cell GBM (n = 19). The expression of EGFR, ERBB-2, ERBB-3 and ERBB-4 were detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was used to observe the amplification of EGFR and ERBB-2 gene.


Median survival times of MBs, small GBMs and PNETs were 23 ± 6.7 months, 8 ± 4.7 months and 10 ± 1.4 months. Expression and amplification of ERBB-2, ERBB-3 and ERBB-4 were not observed in all tumor samples. The multiply Cox regression suggested the overexpression and amplification of EGFR were negative prognostic factors for MB. Radiotherapy had the positive function for all pediatric patients.


Overexpression of EGFR predicts poor outcomes of MBs, small cell GBMs and PNETs, suggesting those three CNS tumor subtypes can be considered as one group for the potential common mechanism. The current individual treatment and big data analysis of pediatric CNS embryonal tumors and GBM continues to be very challenging in China.

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Medulloblastoma; PNET; Small cell glioblastoma; EGFR; Prognostic analysis