Rare Diseases pp 109-130 | Cite as

Rare Cancers

  • Nikolajs ZepsEmail author
  • Chris Hemmings
Part of the Advances in Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine book series (APPPM, volume 6)


According to IARC figures ‘rare and less common’ cancers comprise more than a third of all cancer diagnoses as a group. However, advances in molecular biology have resulted in novel ways to classify cancers based upon genetic alterations and not just anatomical location, and this revised classification is at the heart of any move toward more personalized healthcare. It is now increasingly accepted that cancer should be thought of as many hundreds of more rare subtypes, each of which will have specific therapeutic options. We have selected colorectal carcinoma to illustrate the concept that each cancer is ‘rare’, and demonstrate why this is important for delivering on the concept of Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine (PPPM) for cancer in terms of prediction of who will get the disease, how it will behave and how to prevent it.


Cancer Colorectal Molecular classification Histopathology Targeted therapies Predictive, preventive and personalized medicine 



A very special thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Thomas for her assistance with the proofreading and referencing of this document and her helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bendat Family Comprehensive Cancer CentreSt John of God HealthCareSubiacoAustralia
  2. 2.School of SurgeryUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Anatomic PathologySt John of God PathologySubiacoAustralia

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