Meta-analysis of adjuvant radiotherapy for intracranial atypical and malignant meningiomas

J Neurooncol. 2021 Apr;152(2):205-216. doi: 10.1007/s11060-020-03674-7. Epub 2021 Feb 26.


Introduction: Meningiomas comprise 33% of all CNS tumors. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes meningiomas as benign (BM), atypical (AM), and malignant/anaplastic (MM). High-grade meningiomas such as AMs and MMs are more aggressive, recur more frequently, and portend a worse prognosis than BMs. Currently, the standard treatment for high-grade meningiomas, especially AMs, is ill-defined. In particular, the benefit to survival outcomes of adjuvant radiotherapy post-surgical resection remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) post-surgery on survival outcomes compared to surgery alone for high-grade meningiomas.

Methods: PRISMA guidelines were a foundation for our literature review. We screened the PubMed database for studies reporting overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS), and tumor recurrence for intracranial, primary AM and MMs treated with surgery+ART or surgery alone. Fixed and random effect models compared tumor control rate for AM aforementioned groups.

Results: Mean 5-year PFS was 76.9% for AM (surgery+ART) and 55.9% for AM (surgery alone) patients. Mean 5-year OS was 81.3% and 74% for AM (surgery+ART) and AM (surgery alone) groups, respectively. Overall, the mean 5-year PFS for aggregated high-grade meningiomas AM+MM (surgery+ART) was 67.6%. Fixed effect models revealed tumor control rate as 76% for AM (surgery+ART) and 69% for AM (surgery alone) groups. ART induced toxicity incidence ranged from 12.0% to 35.5% for AM and MM patients.

Conclusions: Our analysis suggests that (surgery+ART) may increase PFS, OS, and tumor control rates in high-grade meningiomas. However, further studies involving surgery+ ART should be conducted to fully evaluate the ideal radiosurgical candidate, modality, and dosage.

Keywords: Adjuvant; Atypical meningioma; High-grade meningioma; Malignant meningioma; Radiation therapy; Radiosurgery.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Meningioma / radiotherapy*
  • Meningioma / surgery
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / methods*