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A meningeal tumor, also called a meningioma, forms in the meninges (thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord). It can form from different types of brain or spinal cord cells. A meningioma is most common in adults. Types of meningeal tumors include the following:

  • Meningioma (grade I): A grade I meningioma is the most common type of meningeal tumor. It is a slow-growing, benign tumor that forms most often in the dura mater (the layer of tissue that covers the brain and is closest to the skull). It is most common in women.
  • Meningioma (grade II and III): This is a rare, malignant meningeal tumor. It grows quickly and is likely to spread within the brain and spinal cord. A grade III meningioma is most common in men.

A hemangiopericytoma is not a meningeal tumor but is treated like a grade II or III meningioma. It usually forms in the dura mater. It often recurs (comes back) after treatment and usually spreads to other parts of the body.


Treatment of grade I meningiomas may include the following:

  • Surgery with or without radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapy for tumors that cannot be removed by surgery

Treatment of grade II and III meningioma and hemangiopericytoma may include surgery and radiation therapy or a clinical trial of external radiation therapy and one of the following:

  • Internal radiation therapy
  • Radiosensitizers
  • Hyperthermia therapy
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy
  • A clinical trial of external radiation therapy, followed by new anticancer drugs and biologic therapy.

Visit NCI's Cancer Clinical Trials Registry to look for U.S. clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult meningeal tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug.