MRI and Molecular Characterization of Pediatric High-Grade Midline Thalamic Gliomas: The HERBY Phase II Trial

Daniel Rodriguez, Raphael Calmon, Esther Sanchez Aliaga, Daniel Warren, Monika Warmuth-Metz, Chris Jones, Alan Mackay, Pascale Varlet, Marie-Cécile Le Deley, Darren Hargrave, Adela Cañete, Maura Massimino, Amedeo A Azizi, Frank Saran, Gudrun Zahlmann, Josep Garcia, Gilles Vassal, Jacques Grill, Andrew Peet, Robert A DineenPaul S Morgan, Timothy Jaspan

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diffuse midline gliomas (DMG) are characterized by a high incidence of H3 K27 mutations and poorer outcome. The HERBY trial has provided one of the largest cohorts of pediatric DMGs with available radiologic, histologic-genotypic, and survival data. Purpose: To define MRI and molecular characteristics of DMG. Materials and Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of a prospective trial (HERBY; identifier, NCT01390948) undertaken between October 2011 and February 2016. Among 121 HERBY participants, 50 had midline nonpontine-based tumors. Midline high-grade gliomas were reclassified into DMG H3 K27 mutant, H3 wild type with enhancer of zest homologs inhibitory protein overexpression, epidermal growth factor receptor mutant, or not otherwise stated. The epicenter of each tumor and other radiologic characteristics were ascertained from MRI and correlated with the new subtype classification, histopathologic characteristics, surgical extent, and outcome parameters. Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank tests were applied to determine and describe survival differences between groups. Results: There were 42 participants (mean age, 12 years 6 4 [SD]; 23 girls) with radiologically evaluable thalamic-based DMG. Eighteen had partial thalamic involvement (12 thalamopulvinar, six anteromedial), 10 involved a whole thalamus, nine had unithalamic tumors with diffuse contiguous extension, and five had bithalamic tumors (two symmetric, three partial). Twenty-eight participants had DMG H3 K27 mutant tumors; there were no differences in outcome compared with other DMGs (n = 4). Participants who underwent major debulking or total or near-total resection had longer overall survival (OS): 18.5 months vs 11.4 months (P = .02). Enrolled participants who developed leptomeningeal metastatic dissemination before starting treatment had worse outcomes (event-free survival, 2.9 months vs 8.0 months [P = .02]; OS, 11.4 months vs 18.5 months [P = .004]). Conclusion: Thalamic involvement of diffuse midline gliomas ranged from localized partial thalamic to holo- or bithalamic with diffuse contiguous spread and had poor outcomes, irrespective of H3 K27 subtype alterations. Leptomeningeal dissemination and less than 50% surgical resection were adverse risk factors for survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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