What is a meningioma?

Meningioma is a slow-growing and usually non-cancerous tumor that originates in the meninges, the membrane layer covering the brain and spinal cord. As they grow, meningiomas can compress adjacent brain tissue and affect the cranial nerves and blood vessels. While most meningiomas are not cancerous, a small percentage are fast-growing malignant tumors that can cause neurological problems and swelling in the brain. Meningiomas can occur at any age, but are more common in adults than children. When they do affect children they occur most often in the sixth and seventh years of life and are slightly more common in boys than in girls.

What are the symptoms of meningioma

Many patients with meningiomas have no symptoms and require no treatment other than periodic observation. If symptoms do arise, they typically include:

  • seizures
  • hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body)
  • visual disturbances
  • difficulty finding words
Meningioma symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How we care for meningioma

Children with meningioma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through the Brain Tumor Center, one of the largest and most experienced pediatric brain tumor treatment programs in the world. Our brain tumor specialists have extensive expertise in treating all types of brain tumors, including meningioma. Our patients receive care from neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and pediatric subspecialists.