Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 151–156 | Cite as

Apoptotic markers for primary brain tumor prognosis

  • A. E. Konstantinidou
  • P. Korkolopoulou
  • E. Patsouris
Clinical Study


Molecular studies of brain tumors have provided insights into pathogenesis, yet it is unclear how important these markers are in predicting clinical outcome and response to treatment. Quantitation of apoptosis by various techniques and the expression of several apoptotic markers have been studied in brain tumors, seeking to refine the information gained from established prognostic variables, which traditionally dictate therapeutic approaches. In the present review we discuss the role of the most extensively examined molecules involved in the apoptotic procedure, such as bcl-2, bax, fas/fasL, survivin and p53, as well as the incidence of baseline apoptosis in various brain tumors, in relation to prognosis. Summarizing current evidence, increased apoptosis and p53 genetic alterations have been advanced as adverse prognosticators in various types of central nervous system neoplasms, while bcl-2 expression appears to be deprived of any predictive value in primary brain tumors. The prognostic significance of the remaining apoptosis-related molecules remains controversial or too limited to draw any firm conclusions. The lack of unanimity of results mostly based on single-center retrospective studies underscores the necessity for large prospective randomized clinical trials, to elucidate the role of these molecular markers as determinants of clinical decision-making and as potential correlates of a pathobiologically tailored and individualized treatment strategy.


apoptosis bax bcl-2 brain tumor fas p53 prognosis recurrence survival survivin 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. E. Konstantinidou
    • 1
  • P. Korkolopoulou
    • 1
  • E. Patsouris
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Faculty of MedicineNational Capodistrian University of AthensHalandriGreece

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