Treatment options


Treatment and care of people with cancer is usually provided by a team of health professionals, both medical and allied health, called a multidisciplinary team.

Treatment for brain cancer depends on the type and location of the tumour, the stage of the disease, the severity of symptoms and the person’s general health. Treatment may involve:

  • surgery, to remove the affected area of the brain
  • radiation therapy, generally after surgery
  • chemotherapy, possibly at the same time as radiation therapy and after completion of radiotherapy.
  • targeted therapy, such as bevacizumab, to slow the growth of the tumour

Medicines may also be given to reduce symptoms, such as steroids to reduce swelling in the brain and anticonvulsants to manage seizures.[1]

Research is ongoing to find new ways to diagnose and treat different types of cancer. Some people may be offered the option of participation in a clinical trial to test new ways of treating brain cancer.


After treatment, you will need regular physical examinations to check whether the cancer has come back (recurred). You may also have blood and imaging tests.[2]

Recurrent cancer

Brain tumours may recur (come back) or continue to grow after treatment. Treatment options for recurrent brain tumours depend on your situation, where the tumour is, and the treatments you have already had. It may include chemotherapy using intravenous medicine or oral tablets. It may also include targeted therapy, such as the drug bevacizumab that stops cancer cells from developing new blood vessels and growing.[2]

Supportive Care

Supportive care forms an important component of managing brain cancer. The aim of supportive care is to improve the quality of life of patients, by either preventing or treating symptoms caused by the cancer or its treatment.  Supportive care includes physical, psychological, social, and spiritual support for patients and their families. Symptoms arising from brain cancer and its treatment including pain, nausea and weakness can be managed in conjunction with a pain specialist or palliative care specialist to provide improved quality of life.