Cancers are named based on where they start in the body. However, it is not always possible to determine this and some cancers are only detected by the secondary tumours that have spread from the primary site.
Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) is the name given to this type of cancer. It is responsible for over 10,000
deaths in the UK a year. By the time cancer is diagnosed, it is often quite advanced and very difficult to treat. Better diagnostic tools and treatment for CUP are desperately needed to help improve survival.
Research supported by Cancer Research UK and which has received donations from the Jet Harris Memorial Fund has included projects led by Dr Harpreet Wasan and his team at Imperial College London. The first project was designed to show whether a new combination of chemotherapy drugs could improve survival for patients with CUP and to help design future trials to test whether it should be a standard treatment. The second project focussed on the molecular classification of CUPs - testing samples from CUP to see if it’s possible to find out where each tumour started. General areas of research into CUP have also been supported.
More recently, in response to advice from the research community, Cancer Research UK agreed that the best way to tackle CUP was with more investment into the early detection and diagnosis of cancer. Therefore, from 2018, donations given to the Jet Harris Memorial Fund will support Cancer Research UK's work in early detection. Cancer Research UK has assured us that this support will continue to impact CUP.
Further information can be found on the Cancer Research UK website www.cancerresearchuk.org
Jet Harris Memorial Fund supporting Cancer Research UK
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