Eric T. Wong, MD, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School provides an overview of rare cancers. Unlike rare diseases that are defined as affecting less than 200,000 people in the United States, rare cancers are referred to those affecting less than 45,000 people in this country.

Examples of rare cancers include:


Nervous System Cancers
  •   Glioblastoma (Grade IV Astrocytoma)
  •   Anaplastic Astrocytoma
  •   Low Grade Glioma
  •   Medullablastoma
  •   Meningioma
  •   Metastatic Brain Tumors


 Organ Specific Tumors
  •  Breast Cancer (male)
  •  Urethral Carcinoma
  •  Small Cell Lung Cancer
  •  Thyroid Cancer
  •  Adrenocortical Carcinoma


 Hematologic Malignancies

  • Leukemias (ALL, CLL, AML, CML)
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Large B-cell Lymphoma
  • Myelofibrosis


Soft Tissue Tumors
  • Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
  • Clear Cell Sarcoma
  • Desmoid Tumors
  • Kaposi Sarcoma
  • Malignant mesenchymoma

To learn more about rare cancer clinical trials, and receive continuing medical education credit, go to



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