Lugano-Milan, 8 February 2018 – The ESMO Sarcoma & GIST Symposium in Milan, Italy (1) has seen a record attendance of almost 450 international experts gathered to discuss the latest developments in the management of this rare condition, representing less than 1% of all adult solid cancers.
For the first time this year, (2) the Symposium has been held in an improved context for rare cancer patients, thanks to EURACAN (3), the European Reference Network (ERN) for rare adult solid cancers, which was launched in March 2017.
Rare tumours such as sarcomas pose additional challenges over and above those faced by patients with more common cancer types, because their low prevalence makes it difficult for physicians in the community to acquire significant experience in diagnosis and treatment. Similarly to other rare diseases, translational and clinical research in this field is hampered by the low numbers and heterogeneity of cases. As a result, access to and development of new drugs can be challenging.
“The lack of information about the disease, limited treatment options and, until now, the low visibility of and insufficient attention paid by health policies to these rare cancers, are all factors that significantly affect patient outcomes,” said Ornella Gonzato, President and
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