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Florian Roser, Makoto Nakamura, Almuth Brandis, Volkmar Hans, Peter Vorkapic and Madjid Samii

✓ The authors describe the first case of an intracranial transition of a melanocytoma into a primary malignant melanoma within a short time. A 37-year-old woman presented with progressive brainstem syndrome due to a tumor, originally diagnosed and treated 12 years earlier, that extended from the petroclival area to the anterior craniocervical junction. The histological workup following subtotal tumor resection of the initial tumor had revealed the typical features of a fibrous melanocytic meningioma without increased proliferation. Ten years after the patient had completed treatment for the melanocytic meningioma, control neuroimaging demonstrated growth of the residual tumor with compression of the brainstem. Another neurosurgical intervention revealed a dark tumor of hard consistency. At this time immunohistochemical examinations demonstrated melanocytic features (expression of vimentin, S100 protein, and melan A) of the lesion with focally increased proliferation (5% of Ki-67—positive cells) but no higher mitotic activity. Clinical signs of deterioration along with imaging-confirmed tumor progression precipitated another operation within 7 months. A neuropathological examination revealed epithelial and anaplastic changes and indicated that the MIB-1 indices were greater than 25%. Pleomorphic changes and a focal high mitotic activity led to the diagnosis of a primary cerebral malignant melanoma. The patient's later clinical course consisted of a rapid diffuse meningeal spread of the lesion throughout the entire brain and spine. Despite whole-brain and stereotactic radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy, the patient died 4 months after the last neuropathological diagnosis. Although grossly resembling a meningioma, melanocytomas lack the former's histological and immunohistochemical features. The biological behavior of a melanocytoma is variable and recurrence may happen after subtotal resection, but intracranial transition into a malignant melanoma has not been observed previously.

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Jussi Antinheimo, Hannu Haapasalo, Matti Haltia, Marcos Tatagiba, Sebastian Thomas, Almuth Brandis, Markku Sainio, Olli Carpen, Madjid Samii and Juha Jääskeläinen

✓ The authors compared the histological appearance and proliferation potential of 35 meningiomas in patients with neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) and 30 sporadic meningiomas in age- and gender-matched patients without NF2. The NF2 meningiomas showed more mitotic figures (p < 0.001) and nuclear pleomorphism (p = 0.003) than the sporadic meningiomas; however, the incidence of meningothelial, fibroblastic, and transitional subtypes occurred equally in both groups. The proliferation potential was significantly higher in the 35 meningiomas removed from 23 patients with NF2 than in the 30 sporadic meningiomas removed in the 30 patients without NF2 (mean MIB-1 labeling indices: 2.5 vs. 1.75, p = 0.0147). The higher proliferation potential of the NF2 meningiomas may reflect differences in molecular biology between sporadic and NF2 meningiomas and may be related to an earlier onset, multiplicity, and more aggressive behavior of NF2 tumors.