Glioblastoma NOS (with primitive neuronal component)

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard

Patient Data

Age: Adult

Heterogeneous left frontal lobe mass with areas of non-enhancement embedded within enhancing tumour. The tumour extends accross the corpus callosum. 

Case Discussion

The patient went on to have a biopsy. 


Paraffin sections show a densely hypercellular glial tumour. This is composed predominantly of pleomorphic, strongly GFAP immunoreactive astrocytic cells with irregularly shaped hyperchromatic nuclei and coarse processes. Scattered gemistocytic and multinucleated forms are also noted. There are frequent mitotic figures, prominent vascular endothelial cell hyperplasia and areas of confluent necrosis. The features are of glioblastoma.

Tumour in other specimens is composed of smaller cells with round, oval and angulated hyperchromatic nuclei and a small amount of cytoplasm. The majority of these cells show strong immunostaining for synaptophysin. Patchy strong GFAP staining is also noted. The features in this component are similar to primitive neuroectodermal tumours.

Final diagnosis:  glioblastoma with PNET-like component. 


Note: The current (2016) WHO classification of CNS tumours has made substantial changes to tumours previously considered to be PNET, now classified as embryonal tumours with multilayered rosettes (ETMR). In contrast, when a glioblastoma demonstrates similar histological features it is now referred to as a glioblastoma with primitive neuronal component

Note: IDH mutation status is not provided in this case and according to the current (2016) WHO classification of CNS tumours, this tumour would, therefore, be designated as a glioblastoma NOS


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Case information

rID: 9015
Published: 13th Mar 2010
Last edited: 26th May 2017
Tag: gbm, glioma
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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