Adult brain tumour types

There are over 130 types of brain tumour, as classified by the World Health Organisation.

Read more about some of the most common types of adult brain tumours including glioblastoma, astrocytoma and pituitary adenoma.

Brain tumours can differ in terms of the cells they originate from, how quickly they are likely to grow and spread, and the part of the brain they affect. Knowing your tumour's type can therefore help you understand your condition.

As a general rule, brain tumours are named according to the type of cell they start from and/or where in the brain they are located.

Information about the most common brain tumour types is below. Information about other brain tumours that occur less frequently in adults, and/or more frequently in children, can be found on the child brain tumour types page. If you would like information on any other type of brain tumour, please get in touch.


Key information about glioblastoma (GBM), the most common primary brain tumour in adults.


Learn more about astrocytomas, the most common type of brain tumour within the group of tumours called gliomas.

Pituitary adenoma

Find out about pituitary adenonas, tumours that develop from the tissue of the pituitary gland.

Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)

Get facts about acoustic neuroma (also known as a vestibular schwannoma), a low grade brain tumour.


Meningioma is a tumour that begins in the membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. Read more.


Learn about oligodendrogliomas, the third most common glioma, accounting for 2-5% of all primary brain tumours.


Discover more about this tumour type, which grows from blood vessel cells.

CNS lymphoma

Find out more about CNS lymphoma, caused by the uncontrolled growth of the lymph cells.

Unspecified glioma

Details of tumours where it is unknown what cell they contain, or they contain more than one type of cell.

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