What is NUT carcinoma?
NUT carcinoma, also called NUT midline carcinoma, is a highly aggressive tumor arising due to abnormality in a gene called the NUT (nuclear protein in the testis) gene. Although cancer is caused by an alteration in the gene, it does not run in families. It generally affects children and young adults, although it may occur in people of all ages. The tumor is often potentially lethal because it grows and spreads quickly in the body. It typically arises from the midline epithelial cells (cells that make the skin and lining of certain hollow organs such as the stomach and lungs). NUT carcinoma is most commonly seen in the head, neck and lungs. It is a rare tumor, and there is scarce data about its prevalence.
What are the symptoms of NUT carcinoma?
Symptoms of NUT carcinoma depend on the site of cancer and whether it has spread in the body (metastasis). The most common sites of origin appear to be the thorax, head and neck. General symptoms include
Is NUT carcinoma curable?
NUT carcinoma may be curable when detected early. If cancer is confined to a small area from where it can be surgically removed, then the person may be cured. This is, however, seen in only a small percentage of people. Thus, the time of diagnosis and site of cancer in the body play a major role in determining whether cancer can be cured. In most cases, cancer has already spread to other sites by the time it is detected. Because cancer is quite aggressive and often resistant to treatment, survival rates are low. For NUT carcinoma, median survival time from diagnosis is just around six to seven months. This means that approximately half of the patients will live longer than six to seven months from the time the diagnosis is made. The other half is expected to live less time than that. The two-year survival rate for this cancer is around 30 percent. This means that around 30 percent of patients survive for at least two years from the time their diagnosis was made. Because NUT carcinoma is quite rare, there is not enough data to accurately determine the survival rate for this cancer.
How is NUT carcinoma treated?
Treatment of NUT carcinoma depends on several factors such as the site where cancer is present, whether it has spread in the body and the general health of the patient. Thus, treatment is individualized for each patient. Treatment options generally include
- Surgery: The doctor may suggest surgery, especially when the tumor is present at an operable site. If the tumor is localized and removable, prognosis is generally better than when it cannot be surgically removed.
- Chemotherapy: Doctors generally consider this when the tumor is large or has spread to other areas beyond its primary site. Many times, doctors perform chemotherapy in combination with surgery.
- Radiation therapy: Doctors may perform radiation therapy when surgery is not possible or after surgery to prevent recurrence.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
My Cancer Genome
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Top Is NUT Carcinoma Curable Related Articles
Cancer 101 SlideshowLearn the basics about cancer including types, causes, how it spreads, symptoms and signs, stages and treatment options. Read about the common type of cancers.
Cancer Risk Factors and CausesThough it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
Cancer FatigueCancer fatigue is a lack of energy that is caused by cancer or cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy, or bone marrow transplantation. Strategies to combat cancer fatigue include scheduling rest, pacing oneself, planning ahead and prioritizing work and activities, eating the right foods, exercising, and practicing proper body mechanics.
Cancer PainCancer pain results from the tumor pressing on nerves or invading bones or organs. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery can also cause pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, radiation, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques are just some treatments for cancer pain.
Top Cancer-Fighting FoodsExperts have praised certain foods for their ability to reduce cancer risks. Learn which foods and eating strategies may help reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Cancer PreventionCertain behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to cancer. Cancer prevention involves modifying these factors to decrease cancer risk. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and obesity increase the risk of certain cancers. Vaccines, genetic testing, and cancer screening also play a role in cancer prevention.
How to Lower and Cut Your Risk of CancerAbout a third of all cases of cancer can be prevented. Find out how to lower your chances of getting it.
Cancer: Cancer 'Remedies' That Don't WorkYou may have read about an all-natural cure for cancer. While many therapies are helpful, some aren't worth your time or money. Even worse, they may be dangerous. Here are a few you should never try.
Is Cancer Contagious?Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. A variety of parasites and viruses have been linked to various cancers. Cancer may metastasize, spreading from its original location to other organs. If you have cancer, you should seek medical care immediately if you experience high fever, shortness of breath, intense headaches, vomiting blood or passing blood rectally, chest pain or moderate to severe weakness, passing out (fainting), mental status changes, or seizures.