The Youth Cancer Networks Program
The Youth Cancer Networks Program is a national program funded by the Australian Government to deliver better models of care for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer. The program funding is administered by CanTeen as part of its Youth Cancer Fund.
The Youth Cancer Networks Program provides $15 million for projects to improve services, facilities, support and information for AYAs diagnosed with cancer.
COSA has been contracted to manage three YCNP national projects, to:
- develop a national network of AYA health professionals
- support AYA cancer clinical research and increase AYA participation in clinical trials
- develop guidelines and protocols for the best treatment and support of AYAs with cancer.
This work is guided by our multidisciplinary AYA Cancer Steering Committee, which is chaired by Associate Professor David Thomas and includes lead clinicians from each state.
AYA Cancer Network
As part of the Youth Cancer Networks Program (YCNP), COSA is forming a national professional network of individuals and organisations with an interest in improving outcomes for AYAs diagnosed with cancer in Australia.
The network will link all interested clinicians and health professionals providing treatment, care and/or support to AYAs with cancer as well as policymakers and hospital and health service executives involved in the development of AYA cancer services.
It will facilitate better communication between stakeholders across all jurisdictions and disciplines. By linking the people involved in delivering AYA cancer services in each state and territory, the network will enable them to share best practice and reduce duplication of effort.
COSA’s AYA Cancer Workshop on 12 November enables 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.
For further information see the workshop program (pdf, 463kb) or contact us.
COSA members can join the AYA Cancer Network by selecting the AYA interest group tick box in update profile in the members' area.
AYA Clinical Practice Guidance
As part of the Youth Cancer Networks Program, COSA is developing clinical practice guidance and protocols to improve the diagnosis, referral, treatment and/or psychosocial care of AYA cancer patients.
COSA is producing and promoting online evidence-based guidance on issues related to the care of adolescents and young adults with cancer, particularly where there is an identified need for guidance and/or significant variations in practice. Working groups of experts will use an evidence-based approach to develop recommendations. The guidance will be developed and published on COSA’s Wiki platform, to enable broad access and ongoing review and updating.
In collaboration with COSA, the Cancer Institute NSW (CINSW) is developing AYA cancer protocols and point-of-care information, which will be available on the eviQ Cancer Treatments Online website.
AYA Clinical Research
Cancer in AYAs is rare and covers a wide spectrum of diseases. There is a recognised AYA cancer ‘survival gap’ – improvement in survival of 15-29 year olds with cancer has fallen behind progress for younger and older patients. Several reasons for this gap have been suggested, including lower participation in clinical research by adolescents and young adults.
While the AYA population is small, there are some diseases such as leukaemia, lymphoma, sarcoma and brain tumours for which survival rates and quality of life of young people with cancer could be improved through greater clinical trial participation. Access to paediatric clinical trials for this group of malignancies, more commonly seen in the paediatric and young adolescent groups, is problematic for AYAs treated in adult cancer centres.
Through this project, funded by the Youth Cancer Networks Program, COSA aims to:
- promote and facilitate clinical research focused on the issues particular to adolescents and young adults with cancer and their families; and
- increase the participation of adolescents and young adults in suitable clinical trials.
Last updated: 14/10/10 15:23:09
The project will support and complement the work of jurisdictions in improving AYA cancer services and in their use of funding for clinical research activity provided under the Youth Cancer Networks Program.
Links to relevant clinical trials groups and websites