Monday, July 14, 2014

Most Types of Cancer are Rare Cancers

In June, 2014, my book, entitled Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs: Keys to Understanding and Treating the Common Diseases was published by Elsevier. The book builds the argument that our best chance of curing the common diseases will come from studying and curing the rare diseases.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 8:
There are about 6000 types of cancer that have been assigned names by pathologists [4–6]. About a dozen of these cancers are common diseases. The remaining cancers (i.e., about 6000 entities) comfortably qualify as “rare” under U.S. Public Law 107-280, the Rare Diseases Act of 2002 [7]. Consequently, healthcare workers must somehow come to grips with 6000 types of rare cancers.

Moreover, the variety of rare cancers is increasing rapidly. As we learn more and more about the genetics of cancers, we find that the common cancers can be subtyped into genetically distinct groups. Furthermore, we are finding an increasing number of alternate alleles and heterogeneous genes that account for rare diseases.

Hence, the trend is leading us to divide the common cancers into genetically distinct subtypes that qualify as rare cancers, and to divide the known rare cancers into ultra-rare subtypes.

I urge you to read more about my book. There's a good preview of the book at the Google Books site. If you like the book, please request your librarian to purchase a copy of this book for your library or reading room.

- Jules J. Berman, Ph.D., M.D. tags: rare disease, common disease, orphan disease, orphan drugs, types of cancer, cancer types, tumor types, tumor biology, rare cancers, common cancers