Brain tumors can lead to a significant source of morbidity and mortality. The primary treatment is microsurgical resection, and the extent of resection is associated with length of survival. Unfortunately, reliable intraoperative tools for diagnosis and safe maximal resection of the tumor mass are lacking. Mass spectra (lipid and metabolite profiles) can be used to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues by comparison of patterns of peak intensities using multivariate statistics. This experiment can be done on a timescale amenable to intraoperative analysis using tissue smears. These data can provide surgeons with near real-time pathologic information and guide the intraoperative resection of the tumor at the difficult to detect peritumoral borders.