The identification of distinct genetic and epigenetic profiles in different types of gliomas has revealed novel diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive molecular biomarkers for refinement of glioma classification and improved prediction of therapy response and outcome. Therefore, the new (2016) World Health Organization (WHO) classification of tumors of the central nervous system breaks with the traditional principle of diagnosis based on histologic criteria only and incorporates molecular markers. This will involve a multilayered approach combining histologic features and molecular information in an “integrated diagnosis”. We review the current state of diagnostic molecular markers for gliomas, focusing on isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDH1/IDH2) gene mutation, α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) gene mutation, 1p/19q co-deletion and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutation in adult tumors, as well as v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) and H3 histone family 3A (H3F3A) aberrations in pediatric gliomas. We also outline prognostic and predictive molecular markers, including O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation, and discuss the potential clinical relevance of biologic glioblastoma subtypes defined by integration of multiomics data. Commonly used methods for individual marker detection as well as novel large-scale DNA methylation profiling and next-generation sequencing approaches are discussed. Finally, we illustrate how advances in molecular diagnostics affect novel strategies of targeted therapy, thereby raising new challenges and identifying new leads for personalized treatment of glioma patients.
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.