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Neurosurg Focus. 2011 May;30(5):E7. doi: 10.3171/2011.2.FOCUS1117.

Molecular genetics of meningiomas: a systematic review of the current literature and potential basis for future treatment paradigms.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.


Although a majority of meningiomas are benign neoplasms, those occurring at the cranial base may be challenging tumors to treat because of extensive tissue invasion, an inability to achieve gross-total microscopic resection, and local tumor recurrence and/or progression. A more comprehensive understanding of the genetic abnormalities associated with meningioma tumorigenesis, growth, and invasion may provide novel targets for grading assessments and individualizing molecular therapies for skull base meningiomas. The authors performed a review of the current literature to identify genes that have been associated with the formation and/or progression of meningiomas. Mutations in the NF2 gene have been most commonly implicated in the formation of the majority of meningiomas. Inactivation of other tumor suppressor genes, including DAL-1 and various tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, upregulation of several oncogenes including c-sis and STAT3, and signaling dysregulation of pathways such as the Wnt pathway, have each been found to play important, and perhaps, complementary roles in meningioma development, progression, and recurrence. Identification of these genetic factors using genome-wide association studies and high-throughput genomics may provide data for future individualized treatment strategies.

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