Findings from the 2015 Lymphoma Research Foundation scientific symposium on adolescent/young adult (AYA) lymphomas have been published int he influential journal Blood Advances. The paper, “Adolescent and Young Adult Lymphoma: Collaborative Efforts at Understanding Biology and Optimizing Care,” reviews lymphoma diagnosis and management across both pediatric and adult oncology, examining the differences and similarities between two approaches.
AYA patients, classified as patients between the ages of 15 and 39, often find themselves caught between adult and pediatric treatment strategies. LRF’s AYA Lymphoma Initiative convened a one-day symposium in November 2015, bringing together researchers specializing in both adult and pediatric lymphomas to discuss how to better serve this patient population. Following the structure of the symposium, the paper focuses on Hodgkin lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, three subtypes commonly diagnosed in AYA patients.
The paper identifies the “information gap” in AYA lymphoma as a key challenge, whereby basic knowledge about lymphoma biology and therapeutic efficacy for this specific population is more limited than for younger or older populations, and proposes combining pediatric and adult research resources and leverage existing data. “Developing well-designed therapeutic clinical trials that span pediatric and adult groups, and incorporate biologic and health services correlatives, is critical to improving outcomes and advancing research in this important and vulnerable population,” the authors note.
The paper was authored by Justine M. Kahn, MD, Columbia University (a 2017 LRF Scholar); Nmazuo W. Ozuah, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and AYA Symposium Steering Committee members Kieron Dunleavy, MD, George Washington University; Tara O. Henderson, MD, The University of Chicago; Kara M. Kelly, MD, Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine; and Ann LaCasce, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Drs. Dunleavy, Kelly, and LaCasce are also members of LRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. With the participation of both pediatric and adult oncologists, the paper itself represents the type of collaboration for which it advocates.
“The Lymphoma Research Foundation is proud to support collaborative efforts such as our AYA Symposium and the Blood Advances paper to better address the unique needs of adolescent and young adult lymphoma patients,” said Meghan Gutierrez, LRF Chief Executive Officer. “We thank Drs. Kahn and Ozuah, as well as our AYA Symposium Steering Committee and The Paul Foundation, for their dedication in advocating for research and treatment strategies specific to this patient population.