A narrative review published online by JAMA Pediatrics examines the current status of cancer in adolescents and young adults and offers a view of the future.
The article by Ronald D. Barr, M.B., Ch.B., M.D., of McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, and coauthors discusses incidence and survival, distribution and biology of disease, special challenges, the price of success, and opportunities for progress.
"The evolving discipline of AYA [adolescent and young adult] oncology has made considerable strides in the past 20 years in HICs [high-income countries], spurred by devoted clinical programs and insights from tumor biology. Increasing accrual to therapeutic clinical trials is a high priority. Experience in the United Kingdom indicates that this is achievable and the formation of the National Clinical Trials Network in North America should lead to similar gains. Likewise, an increase in survivorship research and enhanced investment in psychological support, navigation of the numerous complex transitions in the cancer journey, and the new discipline of oncofertility (that owes its origins to AYAs) will yield considerable returns. Building robust networks and coalitions of engaged stakeholders, for which good examples exist in several HICs, will consolidate continuing advances and provide the basis for partnerships with less privileged countries where most AYAs with cancer reside," the authors conclude.
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