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We continually make the cry that we need more research into CUP: it’s biology, CUP diagnosis, the efficacy of treatment regimens, the value of molecular profiling, patient experience etc. Very little clinical or translational research has been funded in the UK with the exception of CUP One which is a National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) trial. Findings are due this year. As a charity we have made financial contributions to UK research, and conducted patient experience research, but the funding of major clinical trials is beyond our reach. There are signs that CUP is moving up the national research agenda and we will report more on this in due course. It is therefore timely to remind ourselves of the constituents of effective and ineffective research and this polemic article makes for a good and timely read.