We are on the cusp of a new dawn for CUP patients. Research has led to new capabilities for identifying the tissue of origin of the cancer through molecular testing; and we are beginning to see the potential for finding actionable molecular targets from DNA mutations where the primary site is largely irrelevant. Our international conference in London in May 2019 will be picking-up on these themes.
The ‘unknown’ is, for the most part, capable of being ‘known’ yet CUP remains the 5th highest cause of cancer death in the UK. The problem is the time lag between scientific advances and what happens now to the patient in the NHS.
There is much good news. Too much to mention here but it is all covered in our latest accounts and annual report. To pick three things:
- CUP incidence and mortality rates continue to fall. This is largely due to improved management and treatment following the 2010 NICE Guideline. But there are wide variations of standards between hospital trusts.
- The Roche trial called CUPISCO is now recruiting in 8 UK centres as well as in 22 other countries worldwide. Jo’s friends was involved in the trial design. The trial will test the efficacy of molecular profiling techniques and treatment options that include immunotherapy drugs.
- We are providing some funds towards a research project in Manchester which is looking at the DNA in ‘circulating tumour cells’ in relation to CUP. This may help us to understand CUP biology and improve treatment through liquid (blood), rather than tissue, biopsies.
Finally, to look at our finances: our income in 2018 was £56,000 – quite a significant drop on recent years – but using our reserves we were able to spend £111,000 on our charitable objectives. The details are shown in our Accounts. We are most grateful to all those who raise money to help us achieve our objectives and for the many individual donations.