Radiation-Induced Meningiomas Worse Than Spontaneous Lesions

M. Alexander Otto, PA, MMS

October 13, 2022

The study covered in this summary was published on researchsquare.com as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed.

Key Takeaway

  • Although rare, radiation-induced meningiomas have higher-grade histology, require more aggressive treatment, and have higher recurrence and progression rates than spontaneous meningiomas.

Why This Matters

  • Because radiation-induced meningiomas (RIMs) rarely occur, little is known about their natural history or how they respond to treatment.

  • Better characterization of RIMs will help neurosurgeons identify and treat them.

  • The current study suggests that RIMs need to be more closely followed because they recur more frequently than spontaneous meningiomas, and radiation can be an effective treatment.

Study Design

  • The team reviewed the 15 RIM cases identified across 1003 patients with meningioma treated at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center from 2005-2015.

  • Ten of the patients were women, 10 were White, and 5 were Black.

Key Results

  • The incidence of RIMs among all meningiomas was 1.5%.

  • The most common reason for prior radiation was acute lymphocytic leukemia, followed by medulloblastoma

  • The average age at diagnosis was 43.3 years, and the overall latency period — defined as the amount of time from the last radiation dose to RIM diagnosis — was 29.7 years.

  • Over half of tumors were WHO grade 2, meaning they had a higher chance of recurrence.

  • Men had a mean of 1.4 lesions and a mean latency time of 23.6 years; women had a mean of 2.8 lesions and a latency time of 32.7 years.

  • The mean latency period for Black patients was 21.5 years vs 33.8 years for White patients.

  • Of the 15 patients, 3 were observed clinically, 1 received surgery only, 7 received surgery and radiation, 3 received surgery and medical treatment, and 1 received surgery, radiation, and medical treatment.

  • The 10-year progression-free survival rate and recurrence-free survival rates were 50% and 27%, respectively.

  • For patients treated with radiation, mean progression-free survival was 3.7 years and 58% were progression-free at 10 years.


  • The study was retrospective and only had 15 patients.


  • There was no funding reported for the work, and the investigators didn't report any disclosures.

This is a summary of a preprint research study, "Characterization and incidence of radiation-induced meningiomas in a brain tumor database," led by Nilan Vaghjiani of Virginia Commonwealth University, provided to you by Medscape. The study has not been peer reviewed. The full text can be found at researchsquare.com.

M. Alexander Otto is a physician assistant with a master's degree in medical science and a journalism degree from Newhouse. He is an award-winning medical journalist who has worked for several major news outlets before joining Medscape and is also an MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow. Email: aotto@mdedge.com.

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