Chemotherapy has become a third major treatment option for patients with brain tumors, in addition to surgery and radiotherapy. The role of chemotherapy in the treatment of gliomas is no longer limited to recurrent disease. Temozolomide has become the standard of care in newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Several ongoing trials seek to define the role of chemotherapy in the primary care of other gliomas. Some of these studies are no longer only based on histological diagnoses, but take into consideration molecular markers such as MGMT promoter methylation and loss of genetic material on chromosomal arms 1p and 19q. Outside such clinical trials chemotherapy is used in addition to radiotherapy, e.g., in anaplastic astrocytoma, medulloblastoma or germ cell tumors, or as an alternative to radiotherapy, e.g., in anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors or low-grade gliomas. In contrast, there is no established role for chemotherapy in other tumors such as ependymomas, meningiomas or neurinomas. Primary cerebral lymphomas are probably the only brain tumors which can be cured by chemotherapy alone and only by chemotherapy. The chemotherapy of brain metastases follows the recommendations for the respective primary tumors. Further, strategies of combined radiochemotherapy using mainly temozolomide or topotecan are currently explored. Leptomeningeal metastases are treated by radiotherapy or systemic or intrathecal chemotherapy depending on their pattern of growth.