Childhood and adult cancers have been a priority and focus of research and treatment over the past several decades. Meanwhile, substantially less attention has been given to the age group in between--adolescents and young adults (AYAs) ages 15-39yrs. As a result, the relative improvement in the survival rates and outcomes of young adults has not kept pace with that achieved in younger and older patients. During the past five years however, this deficit has become the subject of a national focus and initiatives. The newest oncology program at the Keck Medical Center, AYA@USC - The Adolescent and Young Adult Program, is a collaboration between the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County Hospital. The program is based on a joint medical leadership model by USC leaders in pediatric and adult oncology, in a major academic medical center and as part of an NIH - funded Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Our program offers a unique breadth and scope of multi-disciplinary treatment and care for AYA patients while at the heart of our program is the importance of addressing the psychological and social problems in the lives of patients in order to provide good quality health care and promote better health. Through our clinical care, research initiatives, and education and community outreach, we expect to advance understanding of the diverse and unique needs of AYA cancer patients, and in turn influence best practice in treatment for young adults with cancer and for future generations.