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Cancer of unknown primary site 

Cancer of unknown primary site
Cancer of unknown primary site

Nicholas Pavlidis

and George Pentheroudakis



No data on the use of targeted therapy (TKIs, mTOR, monoclonal antibodies, or check point inhibitors) are yet available.

GEFCAPI 04 prospective randomized trial between molecularly-guided therapy versus empirical therapy is urgently awaited.

Gene profiling diagnosis should not be in daily practice use.

Updated on 29 March 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 30 July 2021

This chapter covers cancer of unknown primary site (CUP), and includes information on epidemiology, molecular biology, pathology, and multidisciplinary management of clinicopathological subsets. Previously, these tumours were diagnosed and treated based on clinical presentation, light microscopy and clinical intuition. Today, the majority of cancers of unknown primary site are becoming less unknown, more accurately classified, and appropriately treated by the use of multiplex or genome-wide expression profiling platforms. These techniques allow for precise and correct knowledge of the true tumour origin, leading to more rational and effective treatment. However, there also may be genetic signatures that are primary-independent, pro-metastatic, and possibly CUP-specific.

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