Rare cancers are an increasingly popular topic from research, clinical and public health perspectives. Cancer is indeed a major priority in modern healthcare and represents a nosological category of immense social significance. However, following the model of rare diseases, researchers are more and more interested in rare cancers. By combining the medico-social paradigm of rare diseases with the clinical profile of oncology, rare cancers have the potential to be a separate area of high added value actions. This publication aims to summarize the basic epidemiological concepts regarding rare cancers and to discuss their place in health policy. The whole article you can read on the latest issue of our journal “Rare diseases and orphan drugs” here.