The Implementation of DNA Methylation Profiling into a Multistep Diagnostic Process in Pediatric Neuropathology: A 2-Year Real-World Experience by the French Neuropathology Network


  • Pagès Mélanie
  • Uro-Coste Emmanuelle
  • Colin Carole
  • Meyronet David
  • Gauchotte Guillaume
  • Maurage Claude-Alain
  • Rousseau Audrey
  • Godfraind Catherine
  • Mokhtari Karima
  • Silva Karen
  • Figarella‑branger Dominique
  • Varlet Pascale


  • DNA methylation
  • Pediatric CNS tumors
  • Tumor classification
  • Copy-number variation
  • Integrated diagnosis
  • Molecular pathology

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DNA methylation profiling has recently emerged as a powerful tool to help establish diagnosis in neuro-oncology. Here we present our national diagnostic strategy as the French neuropathology network (RENOCLIP-LOC) and our current approach of integrating DNA methylation profiling into our multistep diagnostic process for challenging pediatric CNS tumors. The tumors with diagnostic uncertainty were prospectively selected for DNA methylation after two rounds of review by neuropathology experts. We first integrated the classifier score into the histopathological findings. Subsequent analyses using t-SNE (t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding) representation were performed. An additional step consisted of analyzing copy-number variation data (CNV). Finally, we combined all data to establish diagnoses and evaluated the impact of DNA methylation profiling on diagnostic and grading changes that would affect patient management. Over two years, 62 pediatric tumors were profiled. (1) Integrating the classifier score to the histopathological findings impacted the diagnosis in 33 cases (53%). (2) t-SNE analysis provided arguments for diagnosis in 26/35 cases with calibrated scores <0.84 (74.3%). (3) CNV investigations also evidenced alterations used for diagnosis and prognostication. (4) A diagnosis was finally established for 44 tumors (71%). Our results support the use of DNA methylation for challenging pediatric tumors. We demonstrated how additional methylation-based analyses complement the classifier score to support conventional histopathological diagnosis.

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