Treatment for childhood brain tumours

In this section you will find info about brain tumour treatment options.

Decisions will not be easy and hopefully you will be fully involved in them. Hopefully this section will answer questions and raise more! Remember – knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you will be empowered to take control of your child’s treatment and decide what the right path is for them. Ask, ask and ask again. And you can ask us.

Many children will have a combination of treatment, and the choice of treatment depends on the following:

  • The type and grade of brain tumour
  • Its location in the brain
  • Its size
  • Your child’s age
  • Their general health

Cancer therapy often damages healthy cells and tissues and therefore side effects are common. Before treatment starts, ask your child’s oncologist about possible side effects and how treatment may change their normal activities.

These are things you may want to ask before your child’s brain tumour treatment begins:

  • What are our treatment choices? Are there any choices available elsewhere that aren’t available here?
  • Which do you recommend for my child? Why? How does that treatment work?
  • What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
  • What can I do to prepare my child and our family for treatment?
  • Will we need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?
  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can side effects be managed?
  • How will treatment affect my child’s normal activities? What is the chance that my child will have to learn how to walk, speak, read, or write after treatment?
  • Would a research study (clinical trial) be appropriate for us? If it isn’t, why not?
  • We might decide to seek a second opinion. What would the questions be that you would ask?


Radiotherapy uses high-energy X-ray beams to destroy cancer cells in brain tumours. This section explains radiotherapy and the process.

This is a type of radiotherapy that uses high-energy beams of protons to irradiate a tumour.

Find out more

Proton beam therapy

Proton beams are calculated to land at the site of the tumour with a sharp fall-off. In this section we share our proton beam therapy guides to help you feel more informed about the treatment.

Find out more


Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to treat cancer cells, and the drug circulates around the body in the bloodstream. Sometimes more than one drug is used; this is called combination chemotherapy.

Find out more


Hearing your child needs brain surgery (neurosurgery) can cause you stress and be upsetting. A team of specialists in neurosurgery will care for your child before, during and after the procedure.

Find out more