The embryonic stem cell factor UTF1 serves as a reliable diagnostic marker for germinomas

Georgios Pantazis, Patrick N. Harter, David Capper, Patricia Kohlhof, Michel Mittelbronn, Jens Schittenhelm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The transcription factor OCT4 is an established diagnostic marker for central nervous system (CNS) germinoma. However, no data are available to date concerning the expression of its downstream target undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor 1 (UTF1) in CNS germ cell tumours. We examined 21 CNS germinomas and two mixed CNS germ cell tumours for UTF1 and the post-transcriptional regulator LIN28 immunohistochemical expression. We compared the profile to established diagnostic germinoma markers and to the expression in six testicular and four metastatic germ cell tumours as well as 150 CNS tumours of various backgrounds. We found UTF1 expression in 23 of 23 and LIN28 in 20 of 23 CNS germ cell tumours. The established germinoma markers cKIT (23/23), OCT4 (21/23) and placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) (19/21) were also frequently expressed in our cohort. In terms of signal intensity and frequency, UTF1 showed similar results as cKIT but staining was superior to OCT4, PLAP and LIN28. OCT4 was absent in all CNS metastases and haemangioblastomas, while UTF1 was weakly observed in two metastases. With a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97% in the detection of CNS germinomas, UTF1 serves as a new reliable alternative in the diagnostic setting of CNS germ cell tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CNS
  • Germinoma
  • LIN28
  • OCT4
  • UTF1


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