Meningeal solitary fibrous tumors/hemangiopericytomas (MSFTs/HPCs) are rare intracranial tumors resembling meningiomas. Their classification was redefined in 2016 by the World Health Organization (WHO) as benign Grade I fibrohyaline type, intermediate Grade II hypercellular type, and malignant highly mitotic Grade III. This grouping is based on common histological features and identification of a common NAB2-STAT6 fusion.
The authors retrospectively identified 49 cases of MSFT/HPC. Clinical data were obtained from the medical records, and all cases were analyzed according to this new 2016 WHO grading classification in order to identify malignant transformations.
Recurrent surgery was performed in 18 (37%) of 49 patients. Malignant progression was identified in 5 (28%) of these 18 cases, with 3 Grade I and 2 Grade II tumors progressing to Grade III, 3–13 years after the initial surgery. Of 31 Grade III tumors treated in this case series, 16% (5/31) were proved to be malignant progressions from lower-grade tumors.
Low-grade MSFTs/HPCs can transform into higher grades as shown in this first report of such progression. This is a decisive argument in favor of a common identity for MSFT and meningeal HPC. High-grade MSFTs/HPCs tend to recur more often and be associated with reduced overall survival. Malignant progression could be one mechanism explaining some recurrences or metastases, and justifying long-term follow-up, even for patients with Grade I tumors.