Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health SciencesOur research

Research project: The experience of patients with Cancer of Unknown Primary: Analysis from England's national Cancer Patient Experience Survey programme

Currently Active: 

Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) is a highly prevalent cancer with a dismal prognosis. Internationally, very little is known about the experiences of people diagnosed with this disease. The national Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES) has now been conducted three times in 2010, 2012 and 2013. By extracting data from this publically available resource, we are able to understand how UK patients diagnosed with CUP experienced their care, and to make comparisons with patients who have metastatic cancer of a known primary.

The comparative element of the study will explore the experiences of CUP patients and those of patients with metastatic cancer where the primary cancer has arisen in the lung, upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts and the abdomen. It is thought that these are the sites from which CUP most commonly arises. We hypothesise that the patients with CUP will report less positive experiences of their care than patients diagnosed with metastatic cancer from a known primary. We are also using text-mining techniques to analyse CPES respondents a free-text question to explore the main issues and problems they describe.


Cancer Australia; Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) Foundation

Project team

Professor Alison Richardson

Dr Richard Wagland

Dr Mike Bracher

Associated research themes

  • Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP)
  • Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES)
  • Patient experience

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings