Chromosomal instability in adult-type diffuse gliomas

Timothy E. Richardson, Jamie M. Walker, Kalil G. Abdullah, Samuel K. McBrayer, Mariano S. Viapiano, Zarmeen M. Mussa, Nadejda M. Tsankova, Matija Snuderl, Kimmo J. Hatanpaa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chromosomal instability (CIN) is a fundamental property of cancer and a key underlying mechanism of tumorigenesis and malignant progression, and has been documented in a wide variety of cancers, including colorectal carcinoma with mutations in genes such as APC. Recent reports have demonstrated that CIN, driven in part by mutations in genes maintaining overall genomic stability, is found in subsets of adult-type diffusely infiltrating gliomas of all histologic and molecular grades, with resulting elevated overall copy number burden, chromothripsis, and poor clinical outcome. Still, relatively few studies have examined the effect of this process, due in part to the difficulty of routinely measuring CIN clinically. Herein, we review the underlying mechanisms of CIN, the relationship between chromosomal instability and malignancy, the prognostic significance and treatment potential in various cancers, systemic disease, and more specifically, in diffusely infiltrating glioma subtypes. While still in the early stages of discovery compared to other solid tumor types in which CIN is a known driver of malignancy, the presence of CIN as an early factor in gliomas may in part explain the ability of these tumors to develop resistance to standard therapy, while also providing a potential molecular target for future therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
JournalActa neuropathologica communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Astrocytoma
  • CIN
  • Chromosomal instability
  • Chromothripsis
  • Copy number burden
  • Copy number variation
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Oligodendroglioma


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