Developing minimally invasive brain surgery by high-intensity focused ultrasound beams is of great interest in cancer therapy. However, the skull induces strong aberrations both in phase and amplitude, resulting in a severe degradation of the beam shape. Thus, an efficient brain tumor therapy would require an adaptive focusing, taking into account the effects of the skull. In this paper, we will show that the acoustic properties of the skull can be deduced from high resolution CT scans and used to achieve a noninvasive adaptive focusing. Simulations have been performed with a full 3-D finite differences code, taking into account all the heterogeneities inside the skull. The set of signals to be emitted in order to focus through the skull can thus be computed. The complete adaptive focusing procedure based on prior CT scans has been experimentally validated. This could have promising applications in brain tumor hyperthermia but also in transcranial ultrasonic imaging.