Brain tumours

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 of 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 radiosurgery/radiotherapy, fast-track metastatic, paediatric/teenage and young adult (TYA) 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 a national and international leader in this field. We routinely offer fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) for patients from the UK and abroad with benign intracranial tumours and recurrent malignant tumours, and single fraction and fractionated radiosurgery (SRS) for patients with brain metastases.

Fast-track metastatic services

We offer fast-track services for oncology teams managing patients with brain metastases for consideration of radiosurgery, retreatment and other issues:

Fast-track brain radiosurgery uses either the Cyberknife or the Brainlab Elements systems. The Royal Marsden has more than 30 years’ institutional experience using radiosurgery for brain tumours.

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 team of specialist nurses who run 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 one of the UK's leading neuro-oncology research groups. 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 within the Unit. The Neuro-oncology Unit works closely with colleagues in the Royal Marsden’s Drug Development Unit to offer patients with recurrent primary brain tumours access to early phase clinical trials.

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.