Adult treatments for brain tumours

If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumour, this can be a scary time. You will be given lots of information by the doctors about various treatment options, which can be confusing and difficult to comprehend when you are in a state of shock.

The information here gives you access in your own time to information about the various brain tumour treatments available. We also have information on brain tumour treatments for children.

This will help you understand the reasons behind each type of treatment, how they work, the procedures i.e. what to expect, and possible side-effects, both short-term and long-term. This will help you to decide what questions to ask your health team and help you make informed decisions about your brain tumour treatment.


The types of surgery you may have and why surgery is not possible for everyone.


How radiotherapy works and what to expect during your treatment.


The use of drugs to destroy tumour cells by disturbing their growth, often used with surgery and/or radiotherapy.


Many diagnosed with a brain tumour will be given steroids. Information about why and when they are given and the side-effects

Watch and wait

Information about why sometimes no initial treatment is given, and help to cope with what can be a frightening experience.


A chemotherapy drug used to treat high grade gliomas - how it’s taken and its side-effects.

Bevacizumab (Avastin®)

A drug, which is not licensed for use in the UK for the treatment of brain tumours, that is currently under debate.

Stereotactic radiotherapy

A highly focused radiotherapy that allows higher doses to be given. Relevant to adults and children with a brain tumour.

Antineoplaston therapy

An alternative and controversial cancer therapy available in America.


An anti-depressant drug, used to treat depression for many years. Its use in treating brain tumours is much debated.