Tumor growth and spread are a complicated matter and are the result of many interconnected factors. The analysis of patterns emerging from highly numerous populations might help shed some light on such an intricate mechanism. In this respect, our studies are mostly based on the SEER database, a nation representative dataset collecting data regarding the US population, over a very long time span. This approach is revealed to be particularly useful for rare tumors, as prospective studies are not feasible. Here, we present the results and the clinical implications of our inquires: we show the impact on overall survival of several morphological and demographic characteristics of various malignancies including anorectal melanoma and neuroendocrine tumors of the appendix. The impact of surgical treatment is discussed as well. Finally, we endorse the need to find more reliable markers of tumor biology, such as genetic patterns, to tailor an effective multidisciplinary treatment.
Part of the book: Tumor Progression and Metastasis