Background: CNS germ cell tumors (GCTs) predominantly develop in pediatric and young adult patients with variable responses to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. This study aimed to examine the complex and largely unknown pathogenesis of CNS GCTs. Methods: We used a combined transcriptomic and methylomic approach in 84 cases and conducted an integrative analysis of the normal cells undergoing embryogenesis and testicular GCTs. Results: Genome-wide transcriptome analysis in CNS GCTs indicated that germinoma had a transcriptomic profile representative of primitive cells during early embryogenesis with high meiosis/mitosis potentials, while nongerminomatous GCTs (NGGCTs) had differentiated phenotypes oriented toward tissue formation and organogenesis. Co-analysis with the transcriptome of human embryonic cells revealed that germinomas had expression profiles similar to those of primordial germ cells, while the expression profiles of NGGCTs were similar to those of embryonic stem cells. Some germinoma cases were characterized by extensive immune-cell infiltration and high expression of cancer-testis antigens. NGGCTs had significantly higher immune-cell infiltration, characterized by immune-suppression phenotype. CNS and testicular GCTs (TGCTs) had similar mutational profiles; TGCTs showed enhanced copy number alterations. Methylation analysis clustered germinoma/seminoma and nongerminoma/nonseminoma separately. Germinoma and seminoma were co-categorized based on the degree of the tumor microenvironment balance. Conclusions: These results suggested that the pathophysiology of GCTs was less dependent on their site of origin and more dependent on the state of differentiation as well as on the tumor microenvironment balance. This study revealed distinct biological properties of GCTs, which will hopefully lead to future treatment development.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cancer Research