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Treatments licensed for other illnesses

Research is sometimes carried out to see if treatments licensed for a particular illness may be beneficial in treating different illnesses. You should never start taking a new medication without discussing it with your healthcare team first.

Please note, however, that NICE does not recommend these medicines for the treatment of brain tumours. Therefore, before trying any new medications, clinical trials or treatments you should discuss your plans with your healthcare team.

Make the right choices for you

Our Step by Step interactive guide outlines what happens following a diagnosis, to answer your questions and help you to understand what to expect.

Accessing unlicensed drugs

Find out how to access promising drugs that don’t have license yet for brain tumours.

Afatinib (Giotrif®)

Afatinib is a targeted cancer treatment drug used to treat lung cancer.

Antineoplaston therapy

An alternative and controversial cancer therapy available in America.


There has been some research into liquid aspirin and brain tumours.


There are currently some clinical trials in patients with high grade gliomas.

Celecoxib (Celebrex®)

Celecoxib is a type of drug known as “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs).


The use of anti-depressant clomipramine in treating brain tumours is debated.

Herbal & homeopathic remedies

Always consult your healthcare team before taking any alternative medicines.


Clinical trials with isotretinoin did not show any benefit to brain tumour patients.


Lapatinib is used in women with breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body.


An epilepsy drug that can prevent seizures from happening, also known as Keppra®.


There are currently ongoing trials in patients with pancreatic cancer.


Doctors have used Metformin in a clinical trial for children who’ve had radiotherapy.

PDE5 inhibitors

Research is investigating whether it is safe to use existing drugs in cancer treatment.

Tasadenoturev (DNX-2401)

A clinical trial is in progress for children with Diffuse Midline Glioma.

Frequently Asked Questions:

You should never start taking a new medication without talking with your doctor.

The main way to take unlicensed medicines is having a clinical trial, find out more about Accessing unlicensed medicines.

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