More than 50% of all gynecologic tumors can be classified as rare (defined as an incidence of ≤6 per 100,000 women) and usually have a poor prognosis owing to delayed diagnosis and treatment. In contrast to almost all other common solid tumors, the treatment of rare gynecologic tumors (RGT) is often based on retrospective studies, expert opinion, or extrapolation from other tumor sites with similar histology, leading to difficulty in developing guidelines for clinical practice. Currently, gynecologic cancer research, due to distinct scientific and technological challenges, is lagging behind. Moreover, the overall efforts for addressing these challenges are fragmented across different European countries and indeed, worldwide. The GYNOCARE, COST Action CA18117 (European Network for Gynecological Rare Cancer Research) programme aims to address these challenges by creating a unique network between key stakeholders covering distinct domains from concept to cure: basic research on RGT, biobanking, bridging with industry, and setting up the legal and regulatory requirements for international innovative clinical trials. On this basis, members of this COST Action, (Working Group 1, “Basic and Translational Research on Rare Gynecological Cancer”) have decided to focus their future efforts on the development of new approaches to improve the diagnosis and treatment of RGT. Here, we provide a brief overview of the current state-of-the-art and describe the goals of this COST Action and its future challenges with the aim to stimulate discussion and promote synergy across scientists engaged in the fight against this rare cancer worldwide.
- Cancer stem cells
- Circulating tumor-specific markers
- Personalized medicine
- Rare gynecologic tumors