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Absence of Cytomegalovirus in Glioblastoma and Other High-grade Gliomas by Real-time PCR, Immunohistochemistry, and In Situ Hybridization. Clin Cancer Res 2017 Jun 15;23(12):3150-3157



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85020897283 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   46 Citations


Purpose: Reports of cytomegalovirus (CMV) detection in high-grade gliomas (HGG)/glioblastoma have been conflicting. We undertook a comprehensive approach to determine the presence or absence of CMV in tissue, plasma, and serum of HGG patients.Experimental Design: In a retrospective arm, 25 fresh frozen tissues from glioblastoma patients were tested for CMV by real-time PCR. Tissue microarrays from 70 HGG patients were tested by IHC and 20 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) glioblastoma tissues by IHC and chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH), targeting CMV-encoded IE1/2 and pp65. In a prospective arm, 18 patients with newly diagnosed HGG provided tissue and blood samples.Results: All retrospectively collected tissues were negative for CMV by all methods. In the prospective cohort, 18 patients with newly diagnosed HGG provided blood samples at the time of diagnosis and during follow-up. Of 38 plasma specimens, CMV DNA was detected in 3 of 18 samples at baseline and 1 of 20 follow-up samples. Serum CMV IgG was positive in 8 of 15 (53%) of patients. Among the FFPE samples tested in the prospective arm, all were negative for CMV by IHC, CISH, and PCR.Conclusions: Utilizing 6 highly sensitive assays with three orthogonal technologies on multiple specimens and specimen types, no evidence for CMV in glioblastoma tissues was found. Our findings call for multicenter blinded analyses of samples collected from different geographical areas with agreed upon study designs and determination of causality or lack thereof of CMV in HGG/glioblastoma for future guidance on the necessary antiviral and/or CMV-based therapies. Clin Cancer Res; 23(12); 3150-7. ©2016 AACR.

Author List

Holdhoff M, Guner G, Rodriguez FJ, Hicks JL, Zheng Q, Forman MS, Ye X, Grossman SA, Meeker AK, Heaphy CM, Eberhart CG, De Marzo AM, Arav-Boger R


Ravit Boger MD Chief, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Child, Preschool
DNA, Viral
In Situ Hybridization
Middle Aged
Paraffin Embedding
Tissue Array Analysis