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Primary brain tumors


All tumors that begin in or next to the brain are called primary brain tumors. They can be benign or malignant, and in the latter case they are called brain cancers. Approximately 3% of all tumors are primary brain tumors and most types of brain tumors are slightly more common in men than women. However, a tumor of the meninges, the so-called meningioma, is more common in women. Brain tumors are classified by the types of cells they originate from. Each type of brain tumor grows and is treated in a different way. The most common brain tumors are: meningiomas, gliomas, hemangioblastomas, pineal gland tumors, craniopharyngiomas, ependymomas and medulloblastomas. No definite risk factors have been reported for brain tumors, although some factors may put you at increased risk, including previous radiation or chemotherapy exposure to the brain, often as a treatment for another type of tumor, as well as a family history of certain conditions including Neurofibromatosis and Von Hippel-Lindau disease.


Nearly all types of primary brain tumor spread and grow within the brain, so it is rare for a primary brain tumor to spread outside of the brain. Since the skull is rigid, providing no room for the tumor to expand, brain tumors may press on parts of the brain that control movement, speech, sight, or other vital functions. This can cause symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, nausea, and seizures. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult our specialists to determine the best course of action. 

Most brain tumors are detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If a brain tumor is detected, your medical team may recommend a stereotactic biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. These biopsies also give your doctors more information on the cellular and molecular characteristics of the tumor, including, for example, the cell morphology, which defines whether the tumor is an astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme or a grade 1-3 meningioma. 

At the same time, the GMI team analyses the tumor’s molecular characteristics by looking for mutations in the DNA. Different molecular diagnoses, including mutations to the MGMT, IDH and ATRX genes, can be confirmed this way. These genetic mutations can influence a patient’s prognosis, such as how quickly the brain tumor grows and spreads, and how the disease will respond to specific treatments, including different types of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 

If the tumor is malignant, your medical team may recommend you undergo further imaging studies to assess the potential spread of the cancer. The GMI offers the most advanced medical imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and if necessary, positron emission tomography / computed tomography (PET / CT). For non-malignant brain tumors the GMI offers MRI examinations to detect their extension.


Every step in the diagnostic procedure helps the GMI team tailor each treatment plan to each patient, taking into consideration your individual case and personal preferences. Your treatment options vary greatly depending on several factors such as the size and location of the brain tumor, its malignancy, how quickly the tumor is growing, your age and your overall health. To determine the best course of action each patient’s case is discussed in a multidisciplinary tumor board, where several experts from our team come together to create your comprehensive treatment plan.

For cases where the tumor remains localized, a dedicated team of surgeons or radiation oncologists will eradicate the tumor using the most modern treatment options. The GMI Radiation Oncology team has received world-wide recognition for implementing high-precision radiotherapy techniques, such as brachytherapy or stereotactic radiotherapy

For cases where the tumor is malignant or at a more advanced stage, our Medical Oncology team will propose the best treatment plan for each patient, which will include the newest regimen of systemic therapies like targeted therapy, chemotherapy and / or immunotherapy.


At the GMI German Oncology Center, a dedicated team of internationally acclaimed physicians guides each brain tumor patient through their entire journey, from their diagnostic work-up to their treatment and post-treatment care.  

The GMI team will never offer a simple “one size fits all” approach to any patient. We believe each patient’s case is as individual as they are and strive to find the best solution for each of our patients, taking their specific case and diagnosis, their lifestyle, and choices into account. 

We believe each of our patients is more than their diagnosis. That’s why our dedicated paramedics team supports brain tumor patients on their journey by offering more than just expert medical care. We offer psychological help, integrative oncology services (including yoga classes, and acupuncture) and have a GMI Patient Advocacy Program.

Adhering to our passion for innovation, and desire to progress the medical field, the GMI German Oncology Center both initiates and participates in several clinical trials in which the most modern and advanced treatment concepts are tested.

24-hour Emergency Helpline

(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System

(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System.


Dr. Aris Angouridis

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