Current treatment options for meningioma

Expert Rev Neurother. 2018 Mar;18(3):241-249. doi: 10.1080/14737175.2018.1429920. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


With an annual incidence of 5/100,000, meningioma is the most frequent primary tumor of the central nervous system. Risk factors are radiotherapy and hormone intake. Most meningiomas are grade I benign tumors, but up to 15% are atypical and 2% anaplastic according to the WHO 2016 histological criteria. Areas covered: This review details the current standard therapy based on international guidelines and recent literature, and describes new approaches developed to treat refractory cases. First-line treatments are observation and surgery, but adjuvant radiotherapy/radiosurgery is discussed for atypical and indicated for anaplastic meningiomas. The most problematic cases include skull base meningiomas that enclose vasculo-nervous structures and surgery- and radiation-refractory tumors that present with significant morbidity and mortality. The treatment of recurrent tumors is based on radiotherapy and repeated surgery. Systematic therapies are not effective in general but several clinical trials are ongoing. Expert commentary: Molecular characterization of the tumors, based on genetic mutations such as NF2, SMO, TERT, TRAF7, and on the methylation profile are developing, completing the histological classification and giving new insights into prognosis and treatment options.

Keywords: Intracranial tumor; NF2; clinical trials; methylation; neurosurgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Meningioma / genetics
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Meningioma / therapy*
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Radiosurgery
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Risk Factors
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / genetics
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / therapy