Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2008 Aug;67(2):153-71. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2008.01.010. Epub 2008 Mar 14.


Meningiomas are mostly benign tumours originating from the arachnoid cap cells, represent 13-26% of all intracranial tumours. They are more common in older age and in females. Deletion in NF2 gene and exposure to ionizing radiation are established risk factors, while the role of sex hormones is yet not clarified. Five-year survival for typical meningiomas exceeds 80%, but is poorer (5-year survival <60%) in malignant and atypical meningiomas. Papillary and haemangiopericytic morphology, large tumour size, high mitotic index, absence of progesterone receptors, deletions and loss of heterozygosity are poor prognostic factors. Complete surgical excision is the standard treatment. Radiotherapy is currently used in the clinical practice in atypical, malignant or recurrent meningioma at a total dose of 45-60Gy. However, the role of adjuvant irradiation is still controversial and has to be compared in a randomised prospective setting with a policy of watchful waiting. Radiosurgery has gained more and more importance in the management of meningiomas, especially in meningiomas that cannot be completely resected as for many skull base meningiomas. Medical therapy for patients with recurrent, progressive and symptomatic disease after repeated surgery, radiosurgery and radiotherapy is investigational. Hormonal therapy with progesterone antagonists has shown modest results, while chemotherapy with hydroxyurea appears moderately active.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Meningioma / diagnosis
  • Meningioma / etiology
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Meningioma / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors