The program was the first of its kind in the Midwest, and was established based on research conducted by Stock, Richard Larson, MD, professor of medi- cine, and the late James Nachman, MD. Their research found that AYA patients newly diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leuke- mia (ALL) were more successfully treated using pediatric treatment protocols rather than adult treat- ment regimens. “We were seeing that young adult patients aged 21–30 with ALL didn’t do as well as younger patients aged 16–20 who were treated by pediatricians,” Stock said. “The difference in survival rate was 30 percent. It became a focus of my clinical work to explore this disparity. It showed that the whole environment, not just the treatment, all has an impact on patient outcomes.” Based on their research, the team modified the University of Chicago’s AYA program to bring medical oncology and pediat- ric oncology together, using a multidisciplinary, team approach. The two programs, including their physicians, nurses, and staff, col- laborate on each patient case to determine the best course of care for each individual patient. AYA patients often don’t have the support necessary to cope with cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship, and it can be a chal- lenge to ensure that AYA patients follow through with their treat- ment. “Our use of pediatric treat- ment models allow for more time spent with patients, in terms of financial, psychological and educa- tional support,” Stock said. Recently, Tara Henderson, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, led the first large retrospective analysis1 of AYAs with Hodgkin lymphoma who were treated on recent North American clinical trials. The study compared fail- ure-free and overall survival rates between patients treated on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network Intergroup adult E2496 study and patients treated on the pediat- ric Children’s Oncology Group (COG) AHOD0031 study. Her team found that younger AYA patients with Hodgkin lymphoma appear to have better outcomes when treated on a pediatric clinical trial than patients of similar age on an adult clinical trial. Dr. Henderson is currently leading a newly activated COG high-risk neuroblastoma survivorship trial. 1 Henderson et al., Cancer, 2017 [Epub ahead of print] “Our use of pediatric treatment models allow for more time spent with patients, in terms of financial, psychological and educational support.” — Wendy Stock, MD Dr. Tara Henderson with Abigail, a neuroblastoma survivor. 32 Powered by Innovation