Biological and clinical implications of early-onset cancers: A unique subtype

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2023 Oct:190:104120. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2023.104120. Epub 2023 Sep 1.


In recent years, the incidence of cancers is continuously increasing in young adults. Early-onset cancer (EOC) is usually defined as patients with cancers under the age of 50, and may represent a unique subgroup due to its special disease features. Overall, EOCs often initiate at a young age, present as a better physical performance but high degree of malignancy. EOCs also share common epidemiological and hereditary risk factors. In this review, we discuss several representative EOCs which were well studied previously. By revealing their clinical and molecular similarities and differences, we consider the group of EOCs as a unique subtype compared to ordinary cancers. In consideration of EOC as a rising threat to human health, more researches on molecular mechanisms, and large-scale, prospective clinical trials should be carried out to further translate into improved outcomes.

Keywords: Biological features; Clinical significance; Cross similarities,cancer heterogeneity; Early-onset cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult