Patients with cancer of unknown primary site suffer the burden of an uncertain disease, which is characterized by the impossibility to identify the tissue where the tumor has originated. The identification of the primary site of a tumor is of great importance for the patient to have access to site-specific treatments and be enrolled in clinical trials. Therefore, patients with cancer of unknown primary have reduced therapeutic opportunities and poor prognosis. Advancements have been made in the molecular characterization of this tumor, which could be used to infer the tumor site-of-origin and thus broaden the diagnostic outcome. Moreover, we describe here the novel therapeutic opportunities that are based on the genetic and immunophenotypic characterization of the tumor, and thus independent from the tumor type, which could provide most benefit to patients with cancer of unknown primary. Distant metastases are the main cause of cancer-related deaths in patients with advanced tumors. A standard diagnostic workup usually contains the identification of the tissue-of-origin of metastatic tumors, although under certain circumstances, it remains elusive. This disease setting is defined as cancer of unknown primary (CUP). Accounting for approximately 3-5% of all cancer diagnoses, CUPs are characterized by an aggressive clinical behavior and represent a real therapeutic challenge. The lack of determination of a tissue of origin precludes CUP patients from specific evidence-based therapeutic options or access to clinical trial, which significantly impacts their life expectancy. In the era of precision medicine, it is essential to characterize CUP molecular features, including the expression profile of non-coding RNAs, to improve our understanding of CUP biology and identify novel therapeutic strategies. This review article sheds light on this enigmatic disease by summarizing the current knowledge on CUPs focusing on recent discoveries and emerging diagnostic strategies.

Cancer of unknown primary: Challenges and progress in clinical management

Laprovitera N.;Riefolo M.;Ambrosini E.;Ferracin M.
2021

Abstract

Patients with cancer of unknown primary site suffer the burden of an uncertain disease, which is characterized by the impossibility to identify the tissue where the tumor has originated. The identification of the primary site of a tumor is of great importance for the patient to have access to site-specific treatments and be enrolled in clinical trials. Therefore, patients with cancer of unknown primary have reduced therapeutic opportunities and poor prognosis. Advancements have been made in the molecular characterization of this tumor, which could be used to infer the tumor site-of-origin and thus broaden the diagnostic outcome. Moreover, we describe here the novel therapeutic opportunities that are based on the genetic and immunophenotypic characterization of the tumor, and thus independent from the tumor type, which could provide most benefit to patients with cancer of unknown primary. Distant metastases are the main cause of cancer-related deaths in patients with advanced tumors. A standard diagnostic workup usually contains the identification of the tissue-of-origin of metastatic tumors, although under certain circumstances, it remains elusive. This disease setting is defined as cancer of unknown primary (CUP). Accounting for approximately 3-5% of all cancer diagnoses, CUPs are characterized by an aggressive clinical behavior and represent a real therapeutic challenge. The lack of determination of a tissue of origin precludes CUP patients from specific evidence-based therapeutic options or access to clinical trial, which significantly impacts their life expectancy. In the era of precision medicine, it is essential to characterize CUP molecular features, including the expression profile of non-coding RNAs, to improve our understanding of CUP biology and identify novel therapeutic strategies. This review article sheds light on this enigmatic disease by summarizing the current knowledge on CUPs focusing on recent discoveries and emerging diagnostic strategies.
Laprovitera N.; Riefolo M.; Ambrosini E.; Klec C.; Pichler M.; Ferracin M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/805756
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