Adult brain tumour types

Brain tumour types could differ in terms of the cells they originate from, their behaviour under the microscope (how quickly they are likely to grow and spread) and the part of the brain they affect. Knowing your tumour's type therefore could help you understand your condition.

These are the some of the most common types of adult brain tumours. They can, however, also occur in children.

The following is not an exhaustive list. (There are over 140 types of brain tumour, as classified by the World Health Organisation [WHO]). If you would like information on any other brain tumour type, please contact us.Information on other types of brain tumour that occur less frequently in adults, and/or more frequently in children, are listed on the child brain tumour types page.


Glioblastoma (GBM) belong to a group of brain tumours known as gliomas. The most common primary brain tumour in adults.


The most common type of brain tumours called gliomas - about one third of all brain tumours. They can be high or low grade.

Pituitary adenoma

A tumour that develops from the tissue of the pituitary gland. The pituitary controls hormones and many body functions.

Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)

A tumour that develops on the nerve from the ear to the brain.


A tumour that begins in the membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord.


A tumour that develops from the brain cells which make the protective covering (myelin) for the nerve cells in the brain.


Tumours that grow from blood vessel cells. Haemangioblastoma represent about 2% of brain tumours.

CNS lymphoma

Tumours within the brain membranes or which press on the brain from outside, formed by infection-fighting lymph cells.

Unspecified glioma

Tumours where it is not possible to tell which type of cell they contain, or they contain more than one type of cell.