The monoclonal antibody Ki-67 as a marker for proliferating cells in stereotactic biopsies of brain tumours

C. B. Ostertag, B. Volk, T. Shibata, P. Burger, P. Kleihues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The monoclonal antibody Ki-67 has been tested as a marker of proliferating cells in 52 stereotactic brain tumour biopsies. The antibody reacts with a nuclear protein expressed in G1,S, G2n and Mphases of the cell cycle. Using the immunoperoxidase technique on squash preparations the percentage of Ki-67 positive cells was determined as a fraction of the total number of tumour cells present. This Ki-67 index was in close correlation with the histological grade. Highest values were found in a pineal germinoma (46.3%) and in 3 primary cerebral non-Hodgkin lymphomas (mean 39.5%). Among the gliomas, the highest fraction of proliferating cells was seen in 2 anaplastic paediatric brain stem gliomas (mean 17.4%) and in an anaplastic ependymoma (12.5%). Anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas varied considerably with mean values of 9.5% and 8%, respectively. To some extent this variability may reflect tumour heterogeneity which is more likely to manifest in small stereotactic samples than in large tissue specimens obtained during open surgery. Pilocytic astrocytomas, mixed gliomas and fibrillary astrocytomas had moderate to low percentages. Ki-67 staining of squash preparations can easily be performed on a rountine basis and is, in our experience, superior to frozen sections. This method allows the determination of the growth fraction of an individual tumour and could become an important additional criterion for the decision among alternative and potentially harmful therapeutic regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Ki-67
  • Proliferating cells
  • brain tumour
  • stereotactic biopsy
  • tumour grading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'The monoclonal antibody Ki-67 as a marker for proliferating cells in stereotactic biopsies of brain tumours'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this