B7-H3, a potential therapeutic target, is expressed in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
Brain Stem Neoplasms
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a brain cancer with a median survival of only 1 year. Lack of molecular characterization of this tumor impedes the development of novel therapies. Membrane protein B7-H3, aka CD276, involved in interactions with host defenses in certain cancers, has been shown to be over-expressed in the majority of malignant neuroectodermal tumors including adult high-grade glioma. Targeting B7-H3 with a monoclonal antibody has demonstrated safety and efficacy in the salvage treatment of stage IV childhood neuroblastoma, another neuroectodermal tumor. It thus stands to reason that B7-H3 might serve as a therapeutic target in DIPG. B7-H3 immunoreactivity was determined in DIPG and non-diffuse brainstem glioma specimens with immunohistochemistry. In addition, B7-H3 mRNA expression was evaluated with microarrays in another set of specimens. All of the nine (100 %) DIPG specimens were shown to be B7-H3 immunoreactive. In the non-diffuse brainstem glioma group, none of the eight WHO grade I specimens showed B7-H3 immunoreactivity and nine of the 24 WHO grade II specimens (37.5 %) showed B7-H3 immunoreactivity. The association between histological grade and B7-H3 immunoreactivity was statistically highly significant. B7-H3 mRNA expression was also significantly higher in DIPG samples than in normal brain and juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (WHO grade I) specimens. In summary, B7-H3 is over-expressed in DIPG. Given the need for novel treatment in this disease, antibody-based immunotherapy against B7-H3 in DIPG warrants further investigation.