Research Areas

Despite breakthroughs in treatment…

…there is still unmet patient need:

1 in 4 of all cancers are 'rare' with limited treatment options1

Cancer often progresses during therapy, becoming resistant to multiple treatments2,3

Less than half of patients may experience long-term remissions with some cancers4,5

Side effects may result in dose reduction or treatment discontinuation6

Cancer relapses occur in many patients when the effect of therapy lessens or the disease changes7

Areas of research

Advances in cancer treatment

Early cancer treatment was cytotoxic with poor tolerability, advances have allowed improvements to be made so that treatments are less toxic and more targeted. However, unmet medical needs remain.

Rare cancers

The National Cancer Institute defines rare cancer as one that occurs in fewer than 15 out of 100,000 people each year. Rare cancers are often more difficult to prevent, diagnose, and treat than more common cancers, primarily because there are fewer cases, and so research is difficult.

Relapsed / refractory cancer

Despite initial responses to cancer therapy, patients can relapse and develop cancer that does not respond to treatment. Other cancers may be resistant to first-line treatment.

Blood cancers

Blood cancers affect the production and function of blood cells. They include cancers such as multiple myeloma, leukaemias, and lymphomas.

Solid tumours

Solid tumours may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). They are formed from a mass of tissue that does not include liquid and are named for the type of cells from which they originate. Solid tumours include sarcomas and carcinomas.


  1. Rare cancers
  2. Trivedi MS, et al.  Am J Hematol/Oncol2015;11:1-10
  3. Canadian Cancer Society.
  4. SonneveldP.  IntMed 2000;247:521-34
  5. Witzel I, et al. BMC Cancer 2014;14:806
  6. American Cancer Society. Last accessed August 2017
  7. Stiehl T, et al. J R SocInterface2014;11:20140079