A new biomarker can better predict clinical outcomes after radiation for meningiomas


A recent multi-institutional collaboration has led to the development of a new way to predict response to radiation for meningioma patients. Meningiomas are tumors that arise in the membranes surrounding the brain and the spinal cord and are the most common type of tumor originating in the brain. Currently, surgery and/or radiotherapy are the most effective treatments, although it is hard to predict how each patient will respond to these treatments.

Image of Scan of Human Brain

“This study is a culmination of prior efforts by us and others to develop a purely molecular classification for meningiomas,” study author, Dr. Akash Patel, a neurosurgeon and associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine and a principal investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research (Duncan NRI)  at Texas Children’s Hospital, said. “It was made possible by an international and multi-institutional collaboration among researchers and physicians who generously shared data and patient experience from their centers. We are also thankful to the patients and their families who participated in this research.”

The study published in Nature Medicine reports a new genetic biomarker that can predict the clinical outcomes of meningioma after radiation treatment. This 34 gene-signature panel was developed and validated in an investigator-blinded fashion in large cohorts of patients who received treatments in different medical centers around the world, including in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine.

The team performed clinical and analytical validation of this biomarker on 1,856 independent meningiomas from 12 institutions across three continents, including 103 meningiomas from a prospective clinical trial and conducted roughly 4,898 bioinformatic assays.

This new biomarker showed better performance in discriminating post-operative meningioma outcomes compared to existing meningioma classification systems.

“This new biomarker offers insights into how meningioma patients with different gene expression patterns respond differently to treatments,” study author, Dr. Tiemo Klisch, assistant professor at Baylor College and principal investigator at the Duncan NRI, said “Findings from this study will help clinicians predict how patients with each meningioma subtypes respond to  treatments with great accuracy.”

Dr. Stephen Magill at Northwestern University and Drs. David Raleigh and William Chen at University of California at San Francisco were co-corresponding authors of the study.