Pineal region tumours are a group of different types of brain tumour. They start in or around the pineal gland which is in the centre of the brain. These tumours are rare.
Not all pineal region tumours are cancer (malignant). Malignant tumours have the ability to grow and spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.
Benign tumours don’t usually spread to other parts of the brain. But they may cause problems by continuing to grow and pressing on surrounding tissue.
This information is about pineal region tumours in adults and should be read along with our general information about brain tumours. We also have information on our website about brain tumours in teenagers and young adults. If you need information about brain tumours in children you can contact the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.
The pineal gland
The pineal gland is in the centre of the brain, at the back of the third ventricle (see diagram below). Ventricles are hollow spaces within the brain that the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows through. CSF is the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.
One of the main functions of the pineal gland is to regulate the body’s 'internal clock' by producing the hormone melatonin. Melatonin helps control when we sleep and when we wake.