Cancers of Unknown Primary, also known as CUP or Carcinoma of Unknown Primary, are rare diseases in which cancer cells are found in the body but it is unclear as to where they orignated.
At UC San Diego Health, we offer diagnosis and treatment for CUP cases in our Rare Tumor Clinic, which is part of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at Moores Cancer Center.
Directed by Shumei Kato, MD, our program emphasizes a precision-medicine approach, with clinical trials matching patients to a targeted treatment or immune therapy based on their genomic profile.
Our strategy integrates multiple types of in-depth diagnostic testing in order to better understand the origins of the cancer and its biology. This approach includes expert pathology review and comprehensive genomic and immune profiling and review by Moores Cancer Center’s Molecular Tumor Board.
Publications and Research
Our physicians are actively involved in researching cancers of unknown primary. Articles in peer-reviewed publications include:
- Rare Tumor Clinic: The University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center Experience with a Precision Medicine Approach, The Oncologist, October 2017: Authors include Shumei Kato, MD, and Razelle Kurzrock, MD.
- Utility of Genomic Analysis in Circulating Tumor DNA from Patients with Carcinoma of Unknown Primary, Cancer Research, August 2017: An evaluation of the genomic landscape of ctDNA in patients with CUP showed that patients could potentially be matched to genomically targeted therapy or to immunotherapy or both, justifying the inclusion of noninvasive liquid biopsies in next-generation clinical trials. Authors include Shumei Kato, MD, and Razelle Kurzrock, MD.