One of the biggest challenges faced by clinicians is the inability to predict early tumour recurrence in patients. This inability means they can’t tell who would benefit from additional radiation therapy.
Currently, meningioma recurrence is predicted based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) grade of the tumour and extend of tumour removal during surgery.
However, these predictions don’t account for differences depending on the individual viewing the sample or variations of risk recurrence within tumour grades.
Dr Gelareh Zadeh and Dr Kenneth Aldape, who is also on our Scientific Advisory Board, and their team have created a tool that can be used by clinicians to predict the risk of meningioma recurrence and provide targeted treatment regimens.
The study, published in Neuro-Oncology uses both clinical (medical images) and molecular (DNA changes) aspects of the tumour to predict outcomes and improve the management of meningiomas.
To create this software tool, the research team analysed nearly 500 meningioma samples across all grades. They examined these samples for specific changes to DNA that result in tumour growth.
This molecular data was then combined with clinical measurements such as tumour grade and extent of tumour removal.
Using both molecular and clinical factors, researchers report that they can calculate a five-year recurrence score.
Researchers are making this tool freely available as an ‘online calculator’ to be used by clinicians across the globe to predict recurrence risk and help define more appropriate treatment regimens.
"In comparison to other high grade brain tumours, meningiomas have received considerably less attention and data-driven guidelines are almost entirely lacking, “ says Dr Gelareh Zadeh, a senior author on the study.
“Thanks to the support from The Brain Tumour Charity, collaborative working groups like the International Consortium on Meningiomas allow us to pool resources to address important questions that are difficult to evaluate at single institutions.
“Although this work represents an exciting advancement, more research and funding is needed to support further cooperative efforts in meningioma.”
We expect that this research will have significant impact on the clinical management of meningiomas by helping determine recurrence risk, creating more appropriate treatment, and ultimately halving the harm caused by brain tumours.
Furthermore, this research has laid the ground work for future research to develop similar tools to help personalise treatments for other types of brain tumour.
Read more about our research grant here