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Proffered Paper - CNS tumours

360O - Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutation and O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation-mediated sensitivity to temozolomide in IDH-wildtype glioblastoma: Is there a link?


20 Sep 2020


Proffered Paper - CNS tumours


Tumour Site

Central Nervous System Malignancies


Michael Weller


Annals of Oncology (2020) 31 (suppl_4): S396-S408. 10.1016/annonc/annonc269


M. Weller1, D. Gramatzki1, J. Felsberg2, B. Hentschel3, M. Wolter2, G. Schackert4, M. Westphal5, L. Regli6, N. Thon7, M. Tatagiba8, W. Wick9, U. Schlegel10, D. Krex4, P. Roth1, E. Rushing11, T. Pietsch12, A. von Deimling13, M. Sabel14, M. Loeffler3, G. Reifenberger2

Author affiliations

  • 1 Department Of Neurology And Brain Tumor Center, University Hospital Zurich, 8091 - Zurich/CH
  • 2 Department Of Neuropathology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 40225 - Düsseldorf/DE
  • 3 Institute For Medical Informatics, Statistics And Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, 04107 - Leipzig/DE
  • 4 Department Of Neurosurgery, University of Dresden, 01307 - Dresden/DE
  • 5 Department Of Neurosurgery, University of Hamburg, 20246 - Hamburg/DE
  • 6 Department Of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich, 8091 - Zurich/CH
  • 7 Department Of Neurosurgery, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, 81377 - Munich/DE
  • 8 Department Of Neurosurgery, University of Tübingen, Tübingen/DE
  • 9 Department Of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, 69120 - Heidelberg/DE
  • 10 Department Of Neurology, University Hospital Knappschaftskrankenhaus, 44892 - Bochum/DE
  • 11 Department Of Neuropathology, University Hospital Zurich, 8091 - Zurich/CH
  • 12 Department Of Neuropathology, Dgnn Brain Tumor Reference Center, University Hospital Bonn, 53127 - Bonn/DE
  • 13 Department Of Neuropathology, University of Heidelberg, 69120 - Heidelberg/DE
  • 14 Department Of Neurosurgery, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 40225 - Düsseldorf/DE


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Abstract 360O


Benefit from temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy in the treatment of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-wildtype glioblastoma is essentially limited to patients with O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter-methylated tumors. Recent studies suggest that the impact of the MGMT status on chemosensitivity may be modulated by telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter hotspot mutations.


MGMT promoter methylation and TERT promoter mutation status were assessed in an exploratory prospective cohort of IDH-wildtype glioblastoma patients of the German Glioma Network (GGN) (n=298) and validated in a retrospective cohort from Düsseldorf, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland (n=302).


In the GGN discovery cohort of patients with MGMT promoter-unmethylated tumors, TERT promoter mutation showed a trend towards inferior outcome (p=0.085). TERT promoter mutations were not associated with improved outcome in patients with MGMT promoter-methylated tumors. The same patterns were seen when the analysis was restricted to patients intended to be treated with TMZ. Different TERT promoter hotspot mutations were not associated with distinct outcomes. These results were confirmed in the retrospective validation cohort.


Analysis of two independent cohorts of glioblastoma patients, including the prospective GGN cohort, did not confirm previous data suggesting that TERT promoter mutations confer an enhanced benefit from TMZ in patients with MGMT promoter-methylated glioblastoma. Thus, diagnostic testing for TERT promoter mutations may not be required for prediction of TMZ sensitivity in IDH-wildtype glioblastoma patients.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


German Cancer Aid.


M. Weller: Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy, Research grant/Funding (self): AbbVie; Research grant/Funding (self): Adastra; Research grant/Funding (self): Dracen; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy, Research grant/Funding (self): Merck; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy, Research grant/Funding (self): Sharp & Dohme (MSD); Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy, Research grant/Funding (self): Merck (EMD); Research grant/Funding (self): Novocure; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Medack; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Basilea; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS); Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Celgene; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Nerviano Medical Sciences; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Orbus; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Roche; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Tocagen. P. Roth: Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Bristol-Myers Squibb; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Debiopharm; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Medac, Merck; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: MSD; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Novocure; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: QED; Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: Roche. T. Pietsch: Honoraria (self): Chugai; Honoraria (self): Mayo Clinic. M. Sabel: Honoraria (self): Novocure; Honoraria (self): Integra. G. Reifenberger: Honoraria (self), Advisory/Consultancy: AbbVie. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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