Find out what to expect from your appointment with our neuro-oncology service, which offers diagnosis and treatment for brain tumours and spinal tumours.

What are the key things I need to know? 

You are being referred to our services as a recent head scan that you have had at your local hospital has shown some area(s) of abnormality. You will probably have had a CT head, and possibly a subsequent MRI head (this might not have been done yet). A CT Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis may also have been completed. These scans will help to understand if the abnormality is confined to the brain (more likely to be a primary brain tumour) or whether it has developed elsewhere in the body and now present in your brain (metastases). We appreciate this is a lot of information but the appointment with our team will be an opportunity for the consultant to explain the scans to you in more detail and also as a space for you and/or your family to ask any questions and concerns you may have. 

Who will I be seeing in clinic? 

If you have been newly diagnosed with a brain tumour of any sort we would normally aim to bring you to our Thursday morning multi-disciplinary clinic (as long as you are well enough to attend), although some patients are seen in our Monday or Friday morning clinics instead. We would encourage that you attend this appointment with your next of kin, family member or close friend. There will be a consultant(s) familiar with your case present at these clinics and you will also be introduced to one of our Clinical Nurse Specialists. These clinics will be busy but we want to ensure you see the most suitable member of the team and have enough time to discuss all of your concerns, therefore, you may have to wait for some time to see the most appropriate member of the team for your specific case. We appreciate that you and/or a family member may not always be able to make the commute to us and where appropriate we will offer you a video clinic appointment. The website for the video clinic is https://nhs.vc/Imperial-Neuro-Oncology 

After your appointment/ Further resource 

Following your scans and any other necessary investigations, your case will normally be discussed in the multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting where neurosurgeons, neuro-radiologists, clinical oncologists, nurses, physio/occupational therapists and others come together to decide upon the best course of treatment for your needs and condition. We will contact you to discuss your treatment plan.  

We offer a range of clinics on different days and times, including video calls and telephone clinics. Not every clinic is suitable for every patient, but please let us know if one clinic suits you better than another, and it may be possible to adjust your appointment. 
Both Macmillan Cancer Support and Brain Tumour Charity websites are good sources of advice and support. Here at Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, we have a dedicated Macmillan Cancer Support office on the ground floor of the hospital. There is also the Maggie’s cancer charity building (orange one) on the Charing Cross Hospital grounds which can offer you and/or your family support that fits your needs. They are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and have a range of support specialists, psychologists and benefits advisors to help you find your way to live with cancer (https://www.maggies.org/our-centres/maggies-west-london/; 020 7386 1750; london@maggies.org). They have a timetable of events/ sessions which you can either just drop in on or pre-book and a mix of online and in person sessions. To see their timetable follow the link.

Furthermore, The Brain Tumour Charity have their own app, “BRIAN”, which you can download and use wherever you currently are and it can be used further down your pathway to track your own progress through treatment. You can also use this app to access discussion boards to get advice and support from other patient and healthcare professionals including the neuro-oncology team from Charing Cross hospital. Further information on Brain can be found here: https://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/living-with-a-brain-tumour/brian 

Patient information leaflet

Clinical Trials 

At Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust we are very research active and you may be approached by a member of our research team to take part in one of our Neuro-oncology studies. We have several observational and imaging studies (definition) as well as some interventional studies (definition). Your decision to take part will not affect the treatment that you receive. Some of the studies that we currently have open and are recruiting to are: 

Interventional Studies 

  • FUTURE-GB 
  • PARADIGM 
  • SPRING 
  • BRIOCHE 

Observational Studies 

  • BrainWear 
  • BrainApp Imaging Studies 
  • MRI Fingerprinting 

Imaging studies

  • PET Study 
  • TeTRa