Small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) patterns of benign and malignant brain tumour tissue were examined. Independent component analysis was used to find a feature set representing the images collected. A set of coefficients was then used to describe each image, which allowed the use of the statistical technique of flexible discriminant analysis to discover a hidden order in the data set. The key difference was found to be in the intensity and spectral content of the second and fourth order myelin scattering peaks. This has clearly demonstrated that significant differences in the structure of myelin exist in the highly malignant glioblastoma multiforme as opposed to the benign: meningioma and schwannoma.