The management of patients with cancer of unknown primary in middle-income countries: an ESO-AROME survey

Future Oncol. 2021 Jan;17(2):151-157. doi: 10.2217/fon-2020-0677. Epub 2020 Dec 11.


Aim: To report on the management strategies in patients with cancer of unknown primary (CUP) in middle-income countries. Methods: We conceived a survey of 20 items concerning the management of patients with CUP in daily clinical practice. Only participants from lower- and higher-middle-income countries, as per the World Bank Classification, were eligible for this study. Results: The indications for the first-line treatment did not differ between the two economic regions, whereas those for second-line treatment were more prevalent in higher-middle-income countries. The use of targeted therapy based on immunohistochemistry alone was higher in lower-middle-income countries, although the access to CUP classifiers was similar between the two regions. Conclusions: Proper recommendations must ensure that the economic burden is minimized and that other benefits outweigh the limited survival benefit achieved in patients with CUP.

Keywords: cancer of unknown primary; countries of limited resources; diagnostic; emerging countries; therapeutic management.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Developing Countries* / economics
  • Developing Countries* / statistics & numerical data
  • Disease Management
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'