Uncommon Cancers

Professor James Larkin; Uncommon Cancers Theme Lead
Professor James Larkin, Uncommon Cancers Theme Lead

There are more than 200 cancer types that can be termed as ‘uncommon’ (those other than the four most common malignancies of breast, colorectal, lung, prostate). These represent 25% of all cancer cases but account for over half (54%) of cancer deaths.

This theme will investigate bladder, testis, head and neck, and kidney cancers, lymphoma, sarcoma, melanoma, gynaecological malignancies, and cancers of childhood and adolescence. Apart from their rarity, these tumour types share many features, including their propensity to affect young people disproportionately.

Theme aims

  • To translate improved biological understanding into improved diagnosis, treatment and outcomes (emphasising biomarker-driven approaches)
  • To focus on commonalities shared by patients with uncommon cancers to maximise clinical outcomes
  • To tackle the unique challenge of involving patients and members of the public in research into uncommon cancers

Theme lead

Professor James Larkin: Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden, expertise in the individualisation of patient treatment in renal cancer and melanoma and the use of novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies. 

Our impact: Uncommon Cancers

Our research is addressing the challenges associated with research into and treatment of cancers classified as ‘uncommon’.