Improving outcomes for adolescents and young adults with cancer
Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer have distinctly different clinical, psychosocial and information needs to children and adults with cancer. AYAs have the lowest improvement in survival over the past 30 years of any age group.
COSA has been leading efforts to improve outcomes for AYAs with cancer, in partnership with CanTeen, Cancer Australia and other key stakeholders, since 2007.
We established a multidisciplinary AYA Cancer Interest Group to highlight and address the unique needs of AYA patients and their caregivers.
We have convened several national AYA cancer workshops, bringing together clinicians and policy makers to determine priorities and coordinate efforts to improve AYA cancer services and care.
COSA is now managing three Youth Cancer Networks Program national projects to help improve AYA cancer services and outcomes by:
- developing a national network of AYA cancer health professionals
- increasing AYA cancer clinical research and AYA participation in clinical trials
- developing clinical practice guidelines and protocols.
This work is guided by our multidisciplinary AYA Cancer Steering Committee, which is chaired by Dr Wayne Nicholls and includes lead clinicians from each state.
Reports and Publications
AYA Cancer Workshop
12 November 2010
COSA is convening an AYA Cancer Workshop on 12 November, to bring together all participants and key stakeholders in the Youth Cancer Networks Program. The workshop will follow the AYA Professional Education Forum organised by onTrac@PeterMac (Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service).
All project partners and individuals interested in improving AYA cancer services and care are invited to attend the forum and/or workshop.
For further information see the program (pdf, 463kb) or contact us.
AYA Cancer Workshops
COSA has convened three national meetings (in 2007, 2008 and 2009) to highlight the unique needs of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer and to coordinate national efforts to improve their survival rates and psychosocial outcomes. A brief outline of each workshop follows, with a link to the full workshop report.
Our 2010 workshop, on 12 November, will enable Network members and other key stakeholders to hear about the progress of YCNP projects, meet other project partners and professionals involved in AYA cancer care, and discuss common issues and challenges in improving services and outcomes.
AYA Cancer Forum 2007
In May 2007 COSA, in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) and CanTeen, and with support from Cancer Council Australia and Cancer Australia, convened a forum to explore issues and challenges in the treatment and care of adolescents and young adults with cancer. This forum identified key principles for the effective treatment and care of AYA cancer patients. The principles were provided to Cancer Australia’s AYA Cancers Reference Group to develop a framework for AYA cancer services in Australia. CanTeen and the Reference Group completed a final draft of the National Service Delivery Framework for Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer in late 2008.
Report of the 2007 AYA Cancer Forum (pdf, 144kb)
AYA Cancer Workshop 2008
In November 2008 COSA invited key stakeholders to a workshop to hear about the status of the Youth Cancer Networks Program, share information about state-based development of AYA cancer services and facilities, and discuss the value of national coordination of activities, such as professional development and clinical research, to support implementation of AYA cancer services.
Report of the 2008 AYA Cancer Workshop (pdf, 80kb)
AYA Cancer Workshop 2009
COSA convened a workshop in November 2009 to bring together the key stakeholders in the Youth Cancer Networks Program (YCNP):
- to be updated about the YCNP by CanTeen
- to learn more about other projects funded by the program and
- to identify opportunities for national collaboration and/or coordination to support the jurisdictional projects and enhance AYA cancer services across Australia.
As well as the YCNP jurisdictional and national project leaders, invited participants included members of COSA’s AYA Cancer Steering Committee and representatives of CanTeen, Cancer Australia, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and relevant national cooperative clinical trials groups.
Report of the AYA Cancer Workshop 2009 (pdf, 267kb)
AYA Cancer Workshop 2010
COSA’s AYA Cancer Workshop on 12 November is the next opportunity for stakeholders to hear about the progress of the Youth Cancer Network Program jurisdictional and national projects, meet other project partners and professionals involved in AYA cancer care, and discuss common issues and challenges in improving services and outcomes.
All project partners and individuals interested in improving AYA cancer services and care are invited to participate.
For further information see the workshop program (pdf, 463kb) or contact us.
Clinical trials groups and registries
Clinical practice guidance
COSA is developing evidence-based guidance for Australian health professionals on priority issues in AYA cancer management and care. The guidance will be published online on our Wiki site in 2011.
Also as part of the Youth Cancer Networks Program, COSA has commissioned Cancer Institute NSW to create an AYA section of the eviQ Cancer Treatments Online website to provide treatment protocols and point-of-care information for health professionals caring for AYAs with cancer.
Reports and practice frameworks
National Service Delivery Framework for Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer
This framework – developed by CanTeen and Cancer Australia, in collaboration with a large group of stakeholders (including COSA) – aims to provide a national framework for quality local care for adolescents and young adults with cancer.
Practice framework (onTrac@PeterMac)
onTrac@PeterMac Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service has developed a practice framework for working with 15–25 year old cancer patients treated in the adult health sector.
Adolescents, Young Adults and Cancer in New South Wales
This Cancer Institute NSW monograph provides an overview of the current treatment pathways and models of care for AYA with cancer, their access to and participation in clinical trials, palliative and psychosocial support needs and psychosocial and late-effects for this group of cancer patients in NSW.
COSA AYA Cancer Workshops reports
November 2009 (pdf, 267kb)
November 2008 (pdf, 81kb)
May 2007 (pdf, 145kb)
Cancer in adolescents and young adults forum
‘Cancer in adolescents and young adults’ was the topic of the forum in the March 2009 issue of Cancer Forum. The forum includes articles from leading Australian oncologists and health professionals related to AYA cancer biology and treatment, psychosocial assessment, recommendations for improved treatment and services, and palliative care for young people with cancer.
Starting an AYA program: success stories and obstacles
In this Journal of Clinical Oncology article (May 2010), Andrea Ferrari, David Thomas et al. review the experiences of AYA oncology programs in Europe, North America, and Australia, focusing on similarities and differences in strategy, as well as the major challenges and opportunities faced by these programs.