The goal of the joint Working Group on Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) is to promote education in cancer topics specific to this population.
The Cancer in AYA Working Group is a joint venture between ESMO and the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) created in 2016, following collaborative efforts in the educational arena between the two societies since 2014.
Activities and responsibilities
- The Cancer in AYA Working Group was created to increase awareness amongst the medical and paediatric oncology communities and enhance knowledge on specific cancer issues in adolescents and young adults.
- The group will serve as a primary resource in ESMO for implementation of new CME opportunities for ESMO members through production of specific educational and scientific programmes in the field.
- The group will also liaise with other ESMO committees when specific actions are needed, e.g. providing advise at policy level to optimise approaches to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and long term follow-up of these specific patient populations.
- The group will advocate for an increase in research capacities in tumour types affecting these patients and cultivating sensitive collaborative relations between medical and paediatric oncologists, as well as with other healthcare professionals involved in AYA care.
Sharing the same goals with ESMO, one of the objectives in SIOPE recent strategic plan is to address the specific needs of adolescents and young adults in cooperation with adult oncology. Although cancer in AYA is rare, it is a substantial cause of death in this population. Outcomes are often poorer than in younger patients with the same cancer, and several contributing factors have been identified: the type of tumours, their biology and sensitivity to current therapies, as well as the low participation of AYA in clinical trials. AYA have specific and unmet needs, including complex psychological and social supportive care. Their position between adult and children’s services in healthcare systems does not allow for the best possible provision of care or dedicated research that could improve their quality of survival. Therefore, the SIOPE aims to develop a comprehensive multidisciplinary European programme, tackling all issues and specific needs of AYA population. The actions foreseen in a joint integrated programme between paediatric and adult oncology, in strong partnership with patients are:
- Create a European multidisciplinary network on AYA cancers that covers care and research and includes all health professionals and patients.
- At the national level, help the creation of AYA cancer services, which provide the required complex multidisciplinary care.
- Define a training programme for health professionals addressing the specific needs of AYA.
- Increase the portfolio of clinical trials for AYA, and increase their accessibility to all AYA patients.
- Monitor progress in AYA terms of survival, using the clinical epidemiology platform.
- Ivana Bozovic-Spasojevic, Serbia (ESMO)
- Nathalie Gaspar, France (SIOPE)
- Giannis Mountzios, Greece (ESMO)
- Fedro Alessandro Peccatori, Italy (ESMO)
- Daniel Stark, UK (SIOPE)
Last update: April 2021