Author(s): AlMefty O, Kadri PA, Pravdenkova S, Sawyer JR, Stangeby C,
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Abstract OBJECT: The malignant progression of benign tumors is well documented in gliomas and other systemic lesions. It is also well known that some meningiomas become progressively aggressive despite their original benign status. The theory of clonal evolution is widely believed to explain malignant progression in meningioma; however, the data used to explain stepwise progression have typically been derived from the cytogenetic analysis of different types of tumors of different grades and in different patients. In this study, the authors examined the data obtained in a group of patients with meningiomas that showed clear histopathological progression toward a higher grade of malignancy and then analyzed the underlying cytogenetic findings. METHODS: Among 175 patients with recurrent meningiomas, 11 tumors showed a histopathological progression toward a higher grade that was associated with an aggressive clinical course. Six tumors progressed to malignancy and five to the atypical category over a period averaging 112 months. Tests for MIB-1 and p53 and cytogenetic studies with the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method were performed in successive specimens obtained in four patients. The MIB-1 value increased in subsequent samples of tumors. Cytogenetic analysis with FISH showed deletions of 22, 1p, and 14q. In all but one case, these aberrations were also present in the previous specimen despite its lower hispathological grade. CONCLUSIONS: The authors documented the progression of meningiomas from benign to a higher histological grade. These tumors were associated with a complex karyotype that was present ab initio in a histologically lower-grade tumor, contradicting the stepwise clonal evolution model. Although it was limited to the tested probes, the FISH method appears to be more accurate than the standard cytogenetic one in detecting these alterations. Tumors that present with complex genetic alterations, even those with a benign histological grade, are potentially aggressive and require closer follow up.
This article was published in J Neurosurg
and referenced in Journal of Brain Tumors & Neurooncology