Neurological malignancies in neurofibromatosis type 1

Marica Eoli, Veronica Saletti, Gaetano Finocchiaro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewThe current review summarizes recent advances on three important issues in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) management: the identification of specific NF1 gene mutations predicting the risk for developing neurological malignancies; the molecular features of NF1-associated tumors and their differences from sporadic neoplasms; genetic, epigenetic, or microenviromental factors leading benign tumors to a malignant transformation in NF1.Recent findingsThe association between the risk of developing optic pathway glioma and specific germiline NF1 mutations is still debated and further studies are needed with large, new cohorts of patients. The available evidences suggest that gliomas and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) in NF1 have a distinct genetic signatures, different from those observed in sporadic neoplasms. Some neoplasms, very rare in general population, such as subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, can be observed in NF1. A subgroup of low-grade NF1-gliomas, some MPNSTs and plexiform neurofibromas contain abundant T lymphocyte infiltrates suggesting that immunotherapy could be a potential therapeutic approach.SummaryThese data support the notion that next-generation sequencing efforts are helpful in the genetic characterization of NF1-associated malignancies A better knowledge of those tumors at the genomic level, is essential for addressing new treatments and may contribute to a deeper comprehension of NF1/RAS signaling also in sporadic cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-561
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019


  • genetic profiling
  • glioma
  • malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
  • neurofibroma
  • neurofibromatosis 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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