Juvenile oncology–a missing subspecialty. The experience of a reference cancer centre
SourceClinical & Translational Oncology: Official Publication of the Federation of Spanish Oncology Societies and of the National Cancer Institute of Mexico
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INTRODUCTION: Despite unique tumor epidemiology and a higher cancer incidence compared to pediatric patients, adolescents and young adults have not been receiving specialized, multidisciplinary, centralized care. In an effort to emphasize this need, we present outcome and toxicity data from a reference centre. METHODS: Cohort of 150 patients aged 15-30 treated for malignant tumors of lymphoid and solid organs from 1986 to 2002. RESULTS: Patients aged 15-19 commonly had lymphomas, germ cell tumors and pediatric sarcomas, whereas those aged 20-30 experienced germ cell tumors, lymphomas, melanomas and epithelial tumors more often. Overall 5- and 10-year survival was 80%, whereas 5-year and 10-year time to treatment failure was 68% and 43.5% respectively. 24% of patients experienced persistent, late treatment-related toxicities that interfered with their normal lifestyle. CONCLUSION: Despite the need for specialized care, psychosocial support and enrollment in clinical trials, youngsters have not been recognized as a patient group with distinct needs. Development of "Juvenile" oncology is required.