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Rare Tumours programme

Coordinator: Paolo Casali, Milan, IT

According to the RARECARE project, rare solid cancers of the adult make up 15% of all new cancer cases. They include the following:

  1. Sarcomas
  2. Rare thoracic tumours (mesothelioma, thymic neoplasms)
  3. Neuroendocrine tumours
  4. Endocrine gland tumours
  5. Head & neck cancers
  6. Central nervous system neoplasms
  7. Digestive rare cancers
  8. Rare urological and male genital tumours
  9. Rare female genital cancers
  10. Rare skin cancers & non-cutaneous melanoma

There is a growing demand for the medical education of young oncologists to be devoted to rare adult solid cancers. ESO launched a programme of online courses in this field and each course focuses on one of the ten families of rare cancers listed above, within a multidisciplinary context.

In partnership with ESMO, every year ESO will organisean annual Advanced Course, Clinical Update on Rare Adult Solid Cancers, as a regular appointment for clinical oncologists and to keep them updated on novelties about rare adult solid cancers.

In the end, educational efforts in the rare adult cancers area should try to be instrumental to existing healthcare networks covering these tumors. ESO is actively involved as associate partner in the ERN EURACAN, the European Reference Network on rare adult solid cancers, since its inception in 2017. The educational events are developed in close collaboration with the network, with the aim of promoting further interaction and distance mentorship.

In addition, ESO joined the European rare cancer community with a seat in the Steering Committee of Rare Cancers Europe (RCE). It is a multi-stakeholder effort launched by ESMO in partnership with clinical and research communities, patient groups, industries, as a “think-tank” to tackle the several issues posed by rare cancers. The RCE training course for advocacy groups is held every year in parallel sessions with the ESO Clinical Update on rare cancers for physicians. It represents an opportunity for patients and their representatives to learn from their peers and interact with medical experts in rare cancers.

Information on future events in this area can be found here

Fellowship Opportunities
ESO also offers Clinical Training Centres Fellowship placements in Rare Tumours at various centres of excellence across Europe. Further details on this programme can be found here.

Online Learning Opportunities


e-ESO is the European School of Oncology’s online learning platform, providing free educational excellence wherever you are in the world. e-ESO offers different e-learning materials on this topic:

Rare tumours e-Sessions
Rare tumours Pathways
Rare tumours Online Courses

For further information regarding the programme please contact: raretumours@eso.net


Rare cancers