The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of the RNA-binding protein Musashi-1 in adult patients with primary gliomas. Musashi-1 has been suggested to be a cancer stem cell-related marker in gliomas, and high levels of Musashi-1 have been associated with high tumor grades and hence poor prognosis. Samples of 241 gliomas diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 were stained with an anti-Musashi-1 antibody using a fluorescent staining protocol followed by automated image acquisition and processing. Musashi-1 area fraction and intensity in cytoplasm and in nuclei were quantified by systematic random sampling in 2 % of the vital tumor area. In WHO grade III tumors high levels of Musashi-1 were associated with poor survival in multivariate analysis (HR 3.39, p = 0.02). We identified a sub-population of glioblastoma (GBM) patients with high levels of Musashi-1 and a superior prognosis (HR 0.65, p = 0.038). In addition patients with high levels of Musashi-1 benefitted most from post-surgical treatment, indicating that Musashi-1 may be a predictive marker in GBMs. In conclusion, our results suggest that high levels of Musashi-1 are associated with poor survival in patients with WHO grade III tumors and that Musashi-1 may be a predictive marker in GBMs, although further validation is needed. We find the combination of immunofluorescence and automated quantitation to be a feasible, robust, and reproducible approach for quantitative biomarker studies.
Journal of Neuro-oncology, 2013, Vol 115, Issue 3, p. 453-61
Glioma; Glioblastoma; Prognosis; Stem cell; Musashi-1; MSI1 protein