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Central Nervous System Tumours

diagnosis · treatment · research

What are central nervous system tumours

Among brain tumours, there are both benign and malignant tumours.

Benign tumours include:

  • Meningiomas, between 13% and 20%.
  • Vestibular schwannomas, incorrectly called acoustic neurinomas, account for 8% of total cases.
  • Pituitary tumours, between 5% and 7%.

Malignant tumours include:

  • Encephalic metastases, the most frequent malignant tumours.

  • Glioblastoma, between 12% and 15%.
  • Astrocytomas, 10%.


Surgery is the first treatment of choice for most benign and malignant tumours, either exclusively or followed by radiotherapy.

Treatment with radiotherapy—as radiosurgery in small tumours or as fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy or three-dimensional radiotherapy in larger tumours—may be an option in cases where the location of the tumour is either deep or in an area that may cause severe neurological aftereffects, or if the patient has problems with anaesthesia.

Chemotherapy is mainly used in malignant tumours, usually in combination with radiotherapy. Systemic treatment with anti-angiogenic agents, such as bevacizumab, may also be used.

IVO Brain Tumour Committee

The Brain Tumour Committee is made up of a multidisciplinary team of expert professionals.

Medical Oncology Service

The Service's team of professionals accompanies cancer patients throughout the whole disease process.

Radiation Oncology Service

The IVO's Radiation Oncology Service offers clinical and therapeutic care

Neurosurgery Service

The neurosurgery unit's role is to care for the IVO patient when required.

Clinical trials

The current way we have of advancing and improving cancer treatment is through what we call "clinical trials".

A clinical trial is a research study carried out on people with the aim of learning more about how the body reacts to certain treatments. These trials generally seek to find drugs that are more effective than the current best therapeutic option for patients, or that have similar efficacy but a better toxicity profile.

Bearing in mind that almost all currently available treatments are the result of clinical research, the importance of clinical trials is obvious.

The IVO has a clinical trials unit for all types of tumours and participates in phase 1-3 studies as well as other types of studies.

Living with central nervous system tumours

coping with the diagnosis and receiving treatment and psychological support

Whether you receive the news of an initial diagnosis of cancer or a relapse, coping with cancer can be emotionally overwhelming. Each person has their own way of coping with a central nervous system tumour diagnosis, but there are some recommendations that can help you through this process:

  • Maintain communication and the company of family and friends, the people closest to the patient, who can provide a support network throughout the process
  • Talk to other people who have survived cancer or who are in the same situation. There are many local and national associations and support groups. The Spanish Association Against Cancer (Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer) is perhaps the best-known one.
  • Inform yourself in order to make the best decisions about treatment and medical professionals.

Early Diagnosis

Nuclear Medicine


Radiation Therapy