Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategy in Anaplastic (Malignant) Meningioma, CNS WHO Grade 3

Vincenzo Di Nunno, Caterina Giannini, Sofia Asioli, Alfredo Conti, Julia Furtner, Damiano Balestrini, Alicia Tosoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Meningiomas are the most common primary central nervous system malignancies accounting for 36% of all intracranial tumors. However, only 1% of meningioma is classified as malignant (anaplastic) meningioma. Due to their rarity, clinical management of these tumors presents several gaps. Methods: We carried out a narrative review aimed to investigate current knowledge of anaplastic meningioma focusing on their pathological and radiological diagnosis, molecular assessment, and loco-regional and systemic management. Results: The most frequent genetic alteration occurring in meningioma is the inactivation in the neurofibromatosis 2 genes (merlin). The accumulation of copy number losses, including 1p, 6p/q, 10q, 14q, and 18p/q, and less frequently 2p/q, 3p, 4p/q, 7p, 8p/q, and 9p, compatible with instability, is restricted to NF2 mutated meningioma. Surgery and different RT approaches represent the milestone of grade 3 meningioma management, while there is a marginal role of systemic therapy. Conclusions: Anaplastic meningiomas are rare tumors, and diagnosis should be suspected and confirmed by trained radiologists and pathologists. Despite the current marginal role of systemic therapy, it is possible that the increasing knowledge of molecular altered pathways of the disease will lead to the development of novel effective systemic treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4689
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • NF2
  • anaplastic meningioma
  • meningioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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