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Scientists learn more about treatment-related meningiomas 


Study finds links between cancer treatments and meningioma development.

Some cancer treatments may increase the risk of getting a second tumor later in life, called a meningioma. A meningioma is a tumor of the meninges. The meninges are thin layers of tissue (membranes) that wrap around and protect the brain and spinal cord. Most are not cancerous, but sometimes they can be large and put pressure on the brain and spinal cord.

Scientists studied 273 cancer survivors with meningiomas and 738 survivors without meningiomas. Patients treated with higher doses of radiation to their head or spine, and those treated before age 10, were more likely to develop meningiomas. People who got methotrexate as a part of their treatment developed more meningiomas too.

Health care providers use the results of these studies to watch high-risk survivors for disease and to teach them about their health risks.. This study supports efforts to find newer, safer medicines and treat cancer with less radiation when possible.

What does this mean for you?

grpahic image of human brain

Meningiomas can develop and grow as survivors age. These tumors often grow slowly. If you have a meningioma, your provider may watch it with imaging over time and watch for problems caused by the tumor. If symptoms develop, the tumor can be treated with surgery or radiation.

Steps you can take include:

  • Tell your health care provider about your cancer treatments.
  • Get regular checkups and screenings suggested by your doctor.
  • Watch for symptoms like headache, weakness, or vision changes and report them to your doctor.


Withrow DR, Anderson H, Armstrong GT, Hawkins M, Journy N, Neglia JP, de Vathaire F, Tucker MA, Inskip PD, Brenner AV, Stovall MA, Diallo I, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Veiga LHS. Pooled Analysis of Meningioma Risk Following Treatment for Childhood Cancer. JAMA Oncol. 2022 Dec 1;8(12):1756-1764. 

Read the paper