Association of human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter mutation with unfavorable prognosis in glioma: A systematic review and meta analysis

Rongxuan Hua, Qiuxuan Li, Han Gao, Boya Wang, Chengwei He, Ying Wang, Sitian Zhang, Lei Gao, Hongwei Shang, Wen Wang, Jingdong Xu


Background: Glioma is one of the most malignant and aggressive tumors, with an extremely poor prognosis. Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter mutation is regarded as a risk factor in tumor growth. Although the prevalence of hTERT promoter (pTERT) mutation in gliomas has been investigated, the results are inconsistent. This meta?analysis aims to investigate the prognostic value of hTERT in glioma patients and its interaction with other biomarkers.

Materials and Methods: We searched 244 citations from four databases: PubMed (2000–2021), Web of Science (2000–2021), Embase (2010–2021), and Cochrane Library (2000–2021) with 28 articles included.

Results: We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) using the random effect model and the pooled result suggested that TERT promoter mutation predicted poorer overall survival (HR: 1.53, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.34–1.75, P < 0.001, I2: 49.9%, pheterogeneity:0.002) and progression?free survival (HR: 1.55, 95% CI: 1.27–1.88, P < 0.001, I2: 0.0%, pheterogeneity: 0.473). For subgroup analysis, we analyzed multiple factors including iso?citrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genotype,
age, diagnosis, pTERT region, so as to locate the sources of heterogeneity. Interestingly, in IDH mutant subgroup, pTERT mutation
became a beneficial prognostic factor (HR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.57–0.93, I2: 22.3%, pheterogeneity: 0.277), which is contrary to the results in pooled analysis.

Conclusion: In general, pTERT mutation may result in shorter survival time in glioma patients, but longer survival time when glioma patients are combined with IDH mutation.


Glioma, human telomerase reverse transcriptase, iso?citrate dehydrogenase, meta?analysis, prognosis

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