Q. What is causing this benign meningioma tumor to grow?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Abaz Quka
and medically reviewed by Dr.Sowmiya
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 28, 2018 and last reviewed on: Jan 22, 2022

Hello doctor,

My father is 87 years old and has been diagnosed with a benign meningioma of his brain. He had an MRI done recently, showing that the tumor had grown. He is supposed to undergo radiation therapy soon. Do you know what would cause cancer to grow? What is the prognosis? Is radiation therapy safe and effective in stopping the tumor from growing? What is the percentage? Would he need a specific type of radiation (like proton therapy) so that it would not affect the surrounding brain tissues and cells? He takes medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and Metformin tablets for diabetes.



Welcome to

I read your question carefully and would explain that we cannot determine what made the tumor grow, but you should know that the growth speed depends on the tumor type. There are different types of benign meningioma, which grow at different rates. A biopsy would help determine the type of meningioma and the better treatment options. Regarding radiation therapy, I would like to know if he will do gamma knife or fractional radiotherapy. Gamma knife is radiation, similar to surgery. While fractional radiotherapy is usually used after surgery and helps treat tumor residual or recurrence. Considering your father's age, open surgery may be at a higher risk than gamma knife.

I hope to have clarified some of your uncertainties.

Thank you doctor,

I do not know the type of radiation that he will receive. He will not have open surgery due to the high risk. Can you please tell me what are the side effects of radiation, that is, stereoradiation? (sorry, I am not spelling the name correctly). Please answer. Thank you very much.



Welcome back to

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a relatively safe procedure compared to open surgery or other types of radiation.

You should know that radiation therapy can help destroy the tumor cells, but it has some effects also on the other brain cells.

For this reason, some complications may occur like:

  1. Motor deficits.
  2. Cranial nerve palsies.
  3. Trigeminal neuralgia.
  4. Optic neuropathy, with vision problems.
  5. Epilepsy seizures.

These complications are usually less than 5 % but depend on the clinic experience.

Rarely a malignant transformation of the tumor may occur.

Tumor recurrence may occur and follow up with brain MRI is necessary every six months after surgery.

Hope to have clarified some of your uncertainties.

For more information consult a neurologist online -->

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