Over the past few years, the improved knowledge on the biological, genetic and molecular heterogeneity of tumors, together with the development of pharmacological technologies has allowed the identification of molecular targets for novel therapeutic strategies. This rapidly evolving process has led to the overall reconsideration of the biological and genetic peculiarities that characterize each malignant disease. The identification of patients likely to respond to specific treatments according to the presence of relevant molecular targets (personalized medicine) needs clinical studies focused on a constant and productive interaction among the professionals with a significant background in the various disciplines.
Despite relevant progresses some malignant entities are still obscure and, in some cases, for instance, their own origin cannot be easily identified. These enigmatic cases, representing about 3% of all cancer diagnosis, are defined as cancers of unknown primary (CUP)and represent a constant challenge in both clinical and translational oncology. Growing amount of data are available regarding the biologic landscape of CUP as well as novel techniques to identify the putative site of organ, and many results will be available in the next few years. Those finding will help to both clarify pathogenic mechanisms and to identify actionable therapeutic targets.
The present issue aims at summarizing state of the art data on biology and clinical management of CUPs as well at collecting novel experimental results from basic and translation research approaches.
Dr. Giulia M. Stella
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