Survival Rates for Young Adults Treated by Pediatric Oncologists

Adolescents and young adults with cancer have better outcomes when they’re not treated like adults.

International research has shown that when adolescents and young adults receive treatment from pediatric oncologists, they have higher survival rates than when they are treated by adult oncologists, especially those who have malignancies more common in children, such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and Ewing’s sarcoma. Even when treated on the same protocol, data from the EICESS trials show evidence that adolescents may fare worse when treated in medical oncology facilities compared to pediatric institutions (Paulussen et al, Proc. Am. Soc. Clin. Oncol. 2003; abstract form).

Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Programs Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Survival Rates chart

In addition, the clinical trial data above shows that adolescents and young adults fare worse when treated in adult medical oncology facilities than pediatric institutions even when treated on the same protocols.  The comparison of event free survival (percentage of patients alive without leukemia) in young adults treated on pediatric (CCG) versus adult (CALGB) acute lymphoblastic leukemia chemotherapy trials. Six years after diagnosis, 65% of those treated on the CCG protocol (upper curve) were alive without leukemia versus only 38% of those who received CALGB treatment (lower curve).

Make a Referral

To make a referral for the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program, please call (412) 692-5055.