Advances in Central Nervous System Tumor Classification

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Advances in experimental medicine and biology


Historically, the classification of tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) relies on the histologic appearance of cells under a microscope; however, the molecular era of medicine has resulted in new diagnostic paradigms anchored in the intrinsic biology of disease. The 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) reformulated the classification of CNS tumors to incorporate molecular parameters, in addition to histology, to define many tumor types. A contemporary classification system with integrated molecular features aims to provide an unbiased tool to define tumor subtype, the risk of tumor progression, and even the response to certain therapeutic agents. Meningiomas are heterogeneous tumors as depicted by the current 15 distinct variants defined by histology in the 2021 WHO classification, which also incorporated the first moelcular critiera for meningioma grading: homozygous loss of CDKN2A/B and TERT promoter mutation as criteria for a WHO grade 3 meningioma. The proper classification and clinical management of meningioma patients requires a multidisciplinary approach, which in addition to the information on microscopic (histology) and macroscopic (Simpson grade and imaging), should also include molecular alterations. In this chapter, we present the most up-to-date knowledge in CNS tumor classification, particularly in meningioma, in the molecular era and how it could affect their future classification and clinical management of patients with these diseases.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Meningioma; Central Nervous System Neoplasms; Central Nervous System; Histological Techniques; Meningeal Neoplasms

PubMed ID




First Page


Last Page