National Experts Map out Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research Agenda
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center organizes strategic meeting in Atlanta to plan next three to five years
Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine are focusing their efforts on adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer research. More than 50 leaders from top cancer research institutions will gather this Friday, Dec. 8, in Atlanta to identify a strategic plan for combating AYA cancer for the next three to five years.
About 70,000 AYAs, ages 15 to 39, are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Young adults are more likely than both younger children and older adults to be diagnosed with certain cancers, such as Hodgkin lymphoma, melanoma, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer as well as sarcomas.
John Letterio, MD, co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of pediatrics at CWRU School of Medicine, and chief of pediatric hematology and oncology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, has invited more than 50 experts from across the country to attend the AYA cancer research session.
"We look forward to working with experts across the nation to discuss top priorities for AYA cancer research and ways to rally our efforts collectively," said Letterio. "Identifying our plan for the next three to five years will allow us to formulate both short- and long-term goals, and continue working toward a cure in this unique age group that is need of more research attention."
Sponsored by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Research Initiative and Teen Cancer America, the session is a supportive effort of Teen Cancer America's Global AYA Cancer Congress.
In the days leading up to the research session, Alex Huang, MD, PhD, co-Leader of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate professor of pediatrics at CWRU School of Medicine, will present at Teen Cancer America's Global AYA Cancer Congress. Also, Amelia Baffa, RN, MSN, AYA Nurse Navigator for the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, will discuss how nurse practitioners can enhance AYA services.
The Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Research Initiative launched in 2014, with the vision and support of the Fowler family. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center formed the collaboration on a national level, under the leadership of Letterio and Stan Gerson, MD, director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The purpose of forming a national AYA strategy and collaboration group is to establish an infrastructure that supports and advances scientific research specific to AYA biology, epidemiology, clinical trials, health services delivery and psychosocial and quality of life outcomes.