Brain tumour

Specialist neuro-oncology clinical and research staff at The Royal Marsden work with neurosurgeons, neurologists and endocrinologists in the London area and throughout the UK.

The latest radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments for brain tumours are available at both The Royal Marsden's hospitals in Sutton and Chelsea, together with a full range of patient support and care services.


We offer the full range of modern imaging and treatment techniques, but it is our stereotactic radiotherapy, fast-track metastatic, paediatric neuro-oncology and patient support services that place The Royal Marsden at the forefront of neuro-oncology.

Stereotactic radiotherapy service

The Royal Marsden pioneered the development and implementation of stereotactic radiotherapy – modern, high-precision irradiation of benign and malignant brain tumours. We are the national and international leader in this field. We routinely offer fractionated stereotactic conformal radiotherapy (SCRT/FSRT) for patients from the UK and abroad with benign intracranial tumours and recurrent malignant tumours, and single fraction radiosurgery (SRS) for patients with solitary brain metastases.

The SCRT/FSRT treatment is carried out in non-invasive relocatable GCT frame and uses the latest in modern high-precision radiation technology, including ExacTrack, XKnife, IGRT and IMRT. If brain surgery is required, it usually takes place at either St George's Hospital or King's College Hospital.

Fast-track metastatic services

We offer innovative and unique fast-track services for medical colleagues managing patients with brain metastases for consideration of radiosurgery, retreatment and other issues:

  • The brain metastases fast-track advisory service is an email service based on available imaging and clinical details
  • Fast-track radiosurgery uses the XKnife. We have 20 years’ experience using this procedure with published results

Paediatric neuro-oncology service

The Royal Marsden, in collaboration with two regional paediatric neurosurgical centres (St George's and King's College Hospital), has developed a comprehensive South Thames Paediatric Neuro-oncology Service. We are one of the largest paediatric neuro-oncology units in the UK. There is a close working relationship between the paediatric and adult neuro-oncology teams in the form of weekly joint multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings and joint clinics.

Patient support service

The Neuro-oncology Unit has a highly qualified and experienced specialist nurse who runs nurse-led clinics. These ensure that we meet patients' individual needs. We are constantly seeking dynamic, innovative and effective new ways of providing support for people with brain tumours.

Clinical trials

The Neuro-oncology Unit is the UK's leading neuro-oncology research group. In partnership with The Institute of Cancer Research, we are an internationally recognised centre of research excellence. Patients may be offered the opportunity to participate in ongoing clinical trials being carried out by the Unit.

Patient care and support

Brain tumours affect people physically, emotionally and socially, and the care that they receive must be tailored to reflect their individual needs. All treatments offered to patients reflect this holistic approach; we treat every patient with the sensitivity, compassion and discretion he or she deserves.

Multidisciplinary team

A multidisciplinary team (MDT) of brain tumour specialists meets weekly to assess individual needs and progress to ensure that everyone continues to receive the most appropriate treatment, care and support.

Patient-focused care

All treatment decisions are made in conjunction with the individual patients and their carers. Continuity of care for each patient is enhanced by the allocation of an experienced clinical nurse specialist at the first consultation. Staff at The Royal Marsden are very experienced in dealing with the side effects of treatments for brain tumours. This includes both psychological and physical support. We provide detailed information on the treatment of most brain tumours in the form of comprehensive patient information sheets.