DNA methylation-based reclassification of olfactory neuroblastoma

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Capper D, Engel NW, Stichel D, Lechner M, Gloess S, Schmid S, Koelsche C, Schrimpf D, Niesen J, Wefers AK, Jones DTW, Sill M, Weigert O, Ligon KL, Olar A, Koch A, Forster M, Moran S, Tirado OM, Sainz-Jaspeado M, Mora J, Esteller M, Alonso J, Garcia Del Muro X, Paulus W, Felsberg J, Reifenberger G, Glatzel M, Frank S, Monoranu CM, Lund VJ, Von Deimling A, Pfister S, Buslei R, Ribbat-Idel J, Perner S, Gudziol V, Meinhardt M, Schueller U
Journal: Acta Neuropathologica
Publication year: 2018
Volume: 136
Journal issue: 2
Pages range: 255-271
ISSN: 0001-6322


Olfactory neuroblastoma/esthesioneuroblastoma (ONB) is an uncommon neuroectodermal neoplasm thought to arise from the olfactory epithelium. Little is known about its molecular pathogenesis. For this study, a retrospective cohort of n = 66 tumor samples with the institutional diagnosis of ONB was analyzed by immunohistochemistry, genome-wide DNA methylation profiling, copy number analysis, and in a subset, next-generation panel sequencing of 560 tumor-associated genes. DNA methylation profiles were compared to those of relevant differential diagnoses of ONB. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis of DNA methylation data revealed four subgroups among institutionally diagnosed ONB. The largest group (n = 42, 64%, Core ONB) presented with classical ONB histology and no overlap with other classes upon methylation profiling-based t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) analysis. A second DNA methylation group (n = 7, 11%) with CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) consisted of cases with strong expression of cytokeratin, no or scarce chromogranin A expression and IDH2 hotspot mutation in all cases. T-SNE analysis clustered these cases together with sinonasal carcinoma with IDH2 mutation. Four cases (6%) formed a small group characterized by an overall high level of DNA methylation, but without CIMP. The fourth group consisted of 13 cases that had heterogeneous DNA methylation profiles and strong cytokeratin expression in most cases. In t-SNE analysis, these cases mostly grouped among sinonasal adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and undifferentiated carcinoma. Copy number analysis indicated highly recurrent chromosomal changes among Core ONB with a high frequency of combined loss of chromosome 1-4, 8-10, and 12. NGS sequencing did not reveal highly recurrent mutations in ONB, with the only recurrently mutated genes being TP53 and DNMT3A. In conclusion, we demonstrate that institutionally diagnosed ONB are a heterogeneous group of tumors. Expression of cytokeratin, chromogranin A, the mutational status of IDH2 as well as DNA methylation patterns may greatly aid in the precise classification of ONB.

External institutions with authors

Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
Harvard University
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Hopp-Kindertumorzentrum Heidelberg - KiTZ
Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU)
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)
Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden
Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
Universitätsklinikum Münster
Universitätsspital Basel
University College London Hospitals (UCLH)
University College London (UCL)

How to cite

Capper, D., Engel, N.W., Stichel, D., Lechner, M., Gloess, S., Schmid, S.,... Schueller, U. (2018). DNA methylation-based reclassification of olfactory neuroblastoma. Acta Neuropathologica, 136(2), 255-271. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1854-7

Capper, David, et al. "DNA methylation-based reclassification of olfactory neuroblastoma." Acta Neuropathologica 136.2 (2018): 255-271.


Last updated on 2018-13-11 at 08:38