The excitation of localized surface plasmons in noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) results in different nanoscale effects such as electric field enhancement, the generation of hot electrons and a temperature increase close to the NP surface. These effects are typically exploited in diverse fields such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), NP catalysis and photothermal therapy (PTT). Halogenated nucleobases are applied as radiosensitizers in conventional radiation cancer therapy due to their high reactivity towards secondary electrons. Here, we use SERS to study the transformation of 8-bromoadenine (8BrA) into adenine on the surface of Au and AgNPs upon irradiation with a low-power continuous wave laser at 532, 633 and 785 nm, respectively. The dissociation of 8BrA is ascribed to a hot-electron transfer reaction and the underlying kinetics are carefully explored. The reaction proceeds within seconds or even milliseconds. Similar dissociation reactions might also occur with other electrophilic molecules, which must be considered in the interpretation of respective SERS spectra. Furthermore, we suggest that hot-electron transfer induced dissociation of radiosensitizers such as 8BrA can be applied in the future in PTT to enhance the damage of tumor tissue upon irradiation.