Background: Research focus in neuro-oncology has shifted in the last decades towards the exploration of tumor infiltration by a variety of immune cells and their products. T cells, macrophages, B cells, and mast cells (MCs) have been identified.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted by searching PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and Turning Research into Practice (TRIP) for the presence of MCs in meningiomas using the terms meningioma, inflammation and mast cells.
Results: MCs have been detected in various tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), such as gliomas, including glioblastoma multiforme, hemangioblastomas, and meningiomas as well as metastatic brain tumors. MCs were present in as many as 90 % of all high-grade meningiomas mainly found in the perivascular areas of the tumor. A correlation between peritumoral edema and MCs was found.
Interpretation: Accumulation of MCs in meningiomas could contribute to the aggressiveness of tumors and to brain inflammation that may be involved in the pathogenesis of additional disorders.