Purpose of review: Recent clinical and molecular research has shed new light on the biology of meningiomas - a common but understudied CNS neoplasm. This review will focus on recent advances and their significance for future research and treatment. Recent findings: Meningiomas represent the second most common brain tumor in adults, and while improved diagnostic modalities are available, these tumors remain underreported. Radiosurgery is an effective adjuvant therapy against meningioma; however, no effective chemotherapy exists. In addition to histologic grading and estimates of the extent of resection, biomarkers, such as progesterone receptor, cyclooxygenase 2, S100A5 and ornithine decarboxylase may be useful in predicting tumor recurrence and/or progression potential in patients with meningioma. On the genetic level, cytogenetic losses on chromosomes 1, 7, 10 and 14 and telomerase activation are observed in clinically aggressive meningioma, whereas monosomy 22 is a common early molecular event in tumor formation. Several candidate growth regulatory genes have been identified, including the Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), Tumor Suppressor in Lung Cancer-1 (TSLC1), Protein 4.1B. p53/ MDM2 and S6-Kinase genes. The roles of these genes in meningioma formation and progression, as well as the clinical implications of these genetic changes, are discussed. Summary: The recent insights into the molecular biology and genetics of meningioma provide new avenues for basic science research aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying meningioma formation and malignant progression. These advances may be useful in improving our ability to predict clinical outcome and developing targeted therapies to improve outcomes in patients with clinically aggressive meningiomas.
- Progression marker
- Tumor suppressor