Object. Craniopharyngioma is the most common childhood brain tumor and is thought to arise from embryonic remnants of the Rathke pouch. Some craniopharyngiomas are monoclonal in origin and hence presumably harbor somatic genetic alterations, although the precise molecular mechanisms involved in craniopharyngioma development are unknown. The goal of this study was to identify genetic alterations in craniopharyngiomas.
Methods. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in development of these tumors, the authors analyzed nine adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas by using comparative genomic hybridization. Six tumors (67%) displayed at least one genomic alteration, and three had six or more alterations. Only two tumors displayed a decrease in DNA copy number, and in all others an increase in DNA copy number was noted.
Conclusions. The authors conclude that a subset of craniopharyngiomas consists of monoclonal tumors arising from activation of oncogenes located at specific chromosomal loci.