This paper proposes guidelines for good practice in the management of adults with malignant cerebral glioma. These guidelines were developed by a working group comprising representatives of the medical specialties involved in patient care, specialist nursing staff, purchasers, charitable bodies, and patient and relative representatives. Both the research literature on the effectiveness of medical intervention, and the views of patients and relatives about the care they had received were considered. The document proposes a consensus view about ways to improve patient care and considers several stages of the illness and its care: I, the diagnostic phase; II, deciding on an appropriate treatment plan; III, the organization of follow-up services; IV, the management of transitions from hospital to community settings; and V, purchasing care for patients with malignant brain tumours. An audit package derived from the guidelines is available which will enable staff within a treatment centre to compare their practice against these standards. A final section suggests topics which require further research, and sets out the core requirements for studies that will help answer questions about treatment and the benefits for patients in terms of improved quality of life.